Even for someone who writes a lot about police brutality, this story is shocking (not surprising, but appalling). Lee County jail officers tied a man to a chair, put a hood over his head and sprayed him with pepper spray over and over again, resulting in his death. And even though the coroner ruled it a homicide, the officers have faced no consequences.
The District 21 Medical Examiner ruled his death was a homicide because he had been restrained and sprayed with pepper sprayed by law enforcement officers. But to this day, nobody has ever been charged with a crime, and the Lee County State Attorney cleared the sheriff’s office of any wrong doing.
The man had mental problems and was off his medication. The jail was informed of this and decided to abuse him rather than get him treatment:
“I was shocked. This was something out of a horror movie,” says Joyce Christie. She said her husband was depressed and was showing signs of erratic behavior a few days before leaving for Florida.
She called authorities and pleaded with them to take her husband to a hospital and be given his medications. Instead, he was taken to jail for disorderly intoxication.
The family has filed suit, which they will likely win. But paying out money is not enough here. The people who did this are still on the job and thus still a threat to every other person in the area.