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Indiana inmate died after losing 45 lbs. over 20 days of solitary confinement: lawsuit - Joggingvideo.com
17.8 C
New York
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Indiana inmate died after losing 45 lbs. over 20 days of solitary confinement: lawsuit

An Indiana man died in solitary confinement at the Jackson County Jail after losing 45 lbs. in less than three weeks, his family’s attorneys alleged in a new lawsuit.

Joshua McLemore, 28, was immediately placed in solitary confinement after a June 20, 2021, incident at a hospital in which he pulled a nurse’s hair while having an “acute psychotic episode,” a federal complaint filed by the Budge and Heipt law firm on behalf of his estate reads.

“Josh McLemore wasn’t a criminal,” attorney Hank Balson told Fox News Digital in a statement. “He was mentally ill and in crisis. He was out of touch with reality and needed help. This is glaringly obvious to anyone who watches the videos of him in his isolation cell. But instead of getting Josh the care he so desperately needed, the Jackson County Sheriff and his staff left Josh alone in his cell, naked, barely sleeping or eating, for almost three weeks as he wasted away in front of their eyes. This is not only unconstitutional, it’s immoral.”

He added that McLemore’s death was not just “the result of a simple error in judgment but the jail staff’s apparent refusal to acknowledge the “obvious risks” of McLemore’s mental health condition.

GEORGIA INMATE EATEN ALIVE BY BUGS IN CONDITIONS ‘NOT FIT FOR A DECEASED ANIMAL,’ FAMILY ATTORNEY SAYS

Deceased Jackson County Jail inmate Joshua McLemore.

Deceased Jackson County Jail inmate Joshua McLemore. (Budge and Heipt)

McLemore stayed in a bare room with no windows, a locked bathroom and florescent lights for the next three weeks, naked, where he allegedly “continued to suffer from active psychosis while receiving no medical or mental health treatment and virtually no human contact,” according to the complaint.

“For almost three weeks, Josh spent his waking hours sitting down, getting up, lying on the floor, staring into space, randomly gesticulating, twirling his blanket, playing with his food, rolling around in trash, smearing his feces, eating paper, randomly twisting his body into various contortions, staring into the security camera, chewing Styrofoam, and attempting in vain to look out of the covered window in his door, as well as displaying other erratic and peculiar behaviors,” the complaint states.

Joshua McLemore, 28, was immediately placed in solitary confinement after a June 20, 2021, incident at a hospital in which he pulled a nurse's hair while having an "acute psychotic episode," a federal complaint reads.

Joshua McLemore, 28, was immediately placed in solitary confinement after a June 20, 2021, incident at a hospital in which he pulled a nurse’s hair while having an “acute psychotic episode,” a federal complaint reads. (Budge and Heipt law firm)

Surveillance footage from inside the cell where McLemore was held spans more than 400 hours and shows “the inhumane nature of Josh’s confinement, his active psychosis, and his deteriorating condition over the course of his confinement,” the lawsuit says.

GEORGIA INMATES ENJOY STEAK DINNER IN JAIL CELL, MEAL LIKELY SUPPLIED BY JAIL STAFFER

“Where am I?” McLemore can be heard saying in one portion of the footage obtained by Budge and Heipt.

McLemore was allegedly forced to spend 20 days in solitary confinement, surrounded by his own filth, while suffering from a psychotic episode.

McLemore was allegedly forced to spend 20 days in solitary confinement, surrounded by his own filth, while suffering from a psychotic episode. (Budge and Heipt law firm)

An Indiana State Police detective who reviewed the surveillance footage as part of the agency’s investigation into McLemore’s case estimated that the inmate got only 15 hours of sleep over the course of his 20-day confinement.

INDIANA RECYCLING PLANT CITED BEFORE MASSIVE FIRE CAUSED EVACUATION ORDERS, CANCELED SCHOOL

The only lengthy interactions McLemore had with humans were when he was “forcibly” restrained while jail staff cleaned his cell and gave him showers while he was strapped to a chair.

The only lengthy interactions McLemore had with humans were when he was "forcibly" restrained while jail staff cleaned his cell and gave him showers.

The only lengthy interactions McLemore had with humans were when he was “forcibly” restrained while jail staff cleaned his cell and gave him showers. (Budge and Heipt law firm)

Despite being placed on “Medical Observation,” he “received virtually no medical monitoring or care of any kind throughout his confinement, even as his psychosis persisted and his physical condition worsened,” the complaint alleges.

INDIANA FIRE AT RECYCLING PLANT PROMPTS EVACUATION OF MORE THAN 2,000 RESIDENTS

McLemore was eventually admitted to a Cincinnati hospital on Aug. 9, 2021, after becoming so “severely ill” that the jail hospital could not adequately treat him. He died two days in the hospital due to organ failure, according to the lawsuit.

The only lengthy interactions McLemore had with humans were when he was "forcibly" restrained while jail staff cleaned his cell and gave him showers.

The only lengthy interactions McLemore had with humans were when he was “forcibly” restrained while jail staff cleaned his cell and gave him showers. (Budge and Heipt law firm)

His official autopsy lists his cause of death as “multiple organ failure due to refusal to eat or drink with altered mental status due to untreated schizophrenia.”

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The 28-year-old had a history of schizophrenia and drug use. Prior to being transported from the hospital to jail on June 20, 2021, McLemore made barking noises, yelled, bit the door of the police vehicle and apparently licked an officer’s computer.

McLemore’s mother died about 16 months after her son, according the complaint. 

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