Refusing to believe a jail inmate was having an epileptic seizure, Pennsylvania jail guards strapped an inmate down to a restraint chair, placed a spit mask over his face, then tasered him repeatedly while ordering him to stop resisting.
But the video shows all Shaheen Mackey was doing was bouncing his leg when he died at the hands of Luzerne County corrections officers two years ago.
The video also shows the officers repeatedly accusing him of being on methamphetamine or heroin but an autopsy determined there were no drugs in Mackey’s system before he died. However, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s office cleared the officers of any wrongdoing last year.
But a lawsuit filed by Mackey’s family just resulted in a $3 million settlement this week.
Mackey, 41, had been arrested on a warrant from a protection-from-abuse petition on June 5, 2018, according to the Times Leader.
According to the lawsuit, Mackey told officials at the Columbia County Correctional Facility upon medical intake that he suffered from epilepsy. But when he was transferred to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, he was never questioned about his medical history. Instead, who ever filled out the intake form indicated that Mackey answered “no” to all the questions related to his health conditions, but never actually interviewed him.
Mackey ended up suffering an epileptic seizure the following day.
The lawsuit states that Mackey became “confused and disoriented” and “stumbled into the wrong cell during lockdown.” A corrections officer named Joseph Katra returned him to his cell where he continued to act erratically. Mackey’s cellmate then tried to notify officers that the man was having a medical emergency but went ignored for an unspecified amount of time.
Eventually, Katra returned to the cell with a nurse and body slammed Mackey, causing him to foam at the mouth and go into convulsions which the officers took as resisting, the lawsuit states. More corrections officers jumped in when Mackey would not stop convulsing, removing him from the cell and strapping him to the restraint chair which is where the video begins.
The 23-minute video can be viewed below. It was posted Monday on Facebook by the fiancee of Rasheda Hammonds, who is administering Mackey’s estate in the lawsuit.