Prosecutors say an inmate at the jail Sheriff David Clarke runs died of dehydration after not receiving water for a week

David Clarke

A man in a jail run by Sheriff David Clarke died after almost a week without access to running water.

Terrill Thomas, 38, was found dead on the floor of his cell at the Milwaukee County Jail just eight days after he was admitted in April 2016, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported on Monday.

Prosecutors later determined that Thomas, who was known to suffer from mental illness, died from severe dehydration after officers cut off access to his water as a disciplinary measure shortly into his stay and never turned it back on. 

The details of Thomas’ death first became public on Monday after prosecutors began an inquest into whether to charge any of the jail personnel in connection with the death. Last month, district attorney Kurt Benkley argued that mistreating a prisoner was a public welfare offense.

An inquest is a judicial inquiry that allows prosecutors to question witnesses in the court under oath prior to filing charges. The jury must return a unanimous verdict on whether (and how) prosecutors should proceed with charges. 

 

“When a mentally ill inmate, like Mr. Thomas, is locked in solitary confinement without access to water, his life is totally in his jailors’ hands,” he wrote.

A Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reporter present at the inquest wrote that prosecutors showed a six-person jury how, along with policy violations and disregard for Thomas’ mental illness, “inattentiveness by corrections officers led to Thomas’ death.” 

Benkley told the court that three officers turned off Thomas’ water as punishment for flooding his cell and never turned it on or notified a supervisor of their actions.

“This order to shut off Mr. Thomas’ water was highly irregular and contrary to standard operating procedure in the jail,” said Benkley, adding that Thomas never received any liquids with his meals after the water was shut off.

Inmates told the Journal Sentinel in the past that they complained about the lack of water in Thomas’ cell. It is expected that most jail staff will testify that they were unaware of the water situation, according to the Journal Sentinel.

Ultra-conservative Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke has came out as a strong Trump supporter last year, determined to “do everything that I can” to help him win the presidency.

Brian Peterson, a Wisconsin medical examiner, said that Clarke tried to threaten him into keeping quiet about the four deaths that have occurred at the jail since April 2016.

“Nothing like this should ever happen in an American jail,” Erik J. Heipt, a lawyer representing the Thomas family, told the Huffington Post.

SEE ALSO: David Clarke, the Fox News sheriff, puts Milwaukee on the back burner as he rides Trump wave to chase stardom

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A Yale history professor explains how governments can use disasters and tragedies to control society

Prosecutors say an inmate at the jail Sheriff David Clarke runs died of dehydration after not receiving water for a week syndicated from https://lawpallc.wordpress.com

Advertisements

Author: Tristan Fox

I love to spend my weekends roaming around my neighborhood with my bike. I am into promoting online websites related to lawsuits, law tips and lawfirms. In this way I am aiding them in pushing their contents in gaining more leverage for the power of internet for local lawfirms in and around my area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s