This all started when Army veteran Elliott Williams, who was suffering from mental illness, was arrested at a hotel on Oct. 21, 2011. The front desk of the hotel phoned officers when Williams, who was accompanied with his parents at the time, started having a mental episode in the lobby. The alleged victimless crime was for misdemeanor obstruction. His sentence was death.
Daniel Smolen, the lawyer for Williams’s family said, “This guy went almost six days and never got taken to the hospital with a broken neck. They’re throwing food at him and making fun of him in the cell while he’s going through a horrific death. You wouldn’t do that to an animal or any living thing.” Some of the human rights atrocities the he endured while incarcerated were recorded on the jails surveillance cameras.
Smolen said, that this case is the worst civil rights violation that he’s witnessed on video. “It’s a slow torturous death, you’re cognizant of it the whole time. It’s like a nightmare.”
The Tulsa County sheriff’s office had no comment on the pending court cases. Sheriff Glanz’s attorney Corbin Brewster argued that, “Williams was surrounded by people in the jail who thought they were taking care of him.
Brewster wrote, “Despite medical staff’s incorrect diagnoses of Mr. Williams before his death, the undisputed evidence is that the medical professionals who examined and treated Mr. Williams sincerely believed he was faking paralysis.” Brewster added, that the plaintiffs representation “has not established any evidence at anyone at the jail… consciously refused to provide him with medical care.”
Before Elliott was placed in the back of the squad car, he looked over at his father and told him that he loved him. This would be the last time they would see each other again.
The morning of Oct. 21, Earl and Katha Williams were together with their son when they say he became “somewhat argumentative” from the back seat of the car. That same afternoon, Williams checked into an Owasso hotel along with his wife, then later she phoned Earl. She claimed that she couldn’t wake him up and was scared. So his parents hurried to the hotel and knocked on their door that was opened by Williams.
Williams got ready and joined his family for afternoon church service. When the family arrived back at the hotel, Williams threw a paper bag in the lobby and headed back outside. A couple of cops showed up a few minutes later, Earl told them that his wife had recently left him and that he was severely sleep deprived. Williams’s marriage was on the rocks and he had been living with his dad since October of 2011. Earl explained while Williams was talking to the cops that he was discombobulated and not making any sense. The officers called in a mental health worker. The clear sign that there was something mentally wrong with him and should have been boldly documented on the arrest report. As they waited, Williams became impatient and did not comply to the police who were telling him to sit down.
Officer Benjamin Wolery remembered that Williams “starting singing and talking to God,” stuck his hand in some grass and grabbed a handful of grass and dirt while saying “something religious and touched it to his tongue.” Worey added that he also said “Going to be a beat down tonight, all the way down there to the ground.” He asked, “Do we know if we are going to wake up in the morning?”
Earl remembered Williams telling the cops as he was pointing at his chest as he told the police that he was going to kill himself and asked cops to shoot him. “I know what this is, a black male and two Owasso officers, homicide or suicide, take two bullets. Eliah (his wife) is out of my life, she is out of my life, take a shot, what is wrong with you all, are you scared? It’s a suicide, do I need to provoke you?”
Wolery said that Williams took a “threatening” step in the direction of him and the other cop Jack Wells, who pepper sprayed Williams. Wells took Williams to the ground, and pressed his knee into his back. Earl then said he visibly saw his son’s left foot drag when the officers picked him up and escorted him to the patrol car.
Earl questioned why his son was being arrested and taken away, one of the fully armed cops said because replied, because he was interfering with a police officer. Paramedics arrived and washed pepper spray out of Williams’s eyes and face when Earl and his son exchanged their final goodbyes.
The next day Earl called the Tulsa County jail to set up a time to visit his son, but they told him that it was too early. Earl, full of worry at this point was told that his son was transferred to medical section of the jail. John Lnuk, a staff member in the jail’s mental health department, received the call from the concerned father on Oct. 24.
Earl said Lnuk stated Williams was saying, “I want a drink of water.” Earl became more concerned asking if he was ok, Lnuk said that he was fine and that “He’s acting like he’s paralyzed, but we know he’s not.”
Two days of continued attempts to see his son Earl got through to a chaplain asking him to please check on him. Finally on the 27th, another chaplain visited Williams and delivered the dire results to Earl, Williams wasn’t responding very well at all and Earl needed to visit the jail as soon as possible.
When Earl made it to the jail that day, Lnuk told Earl that the staff was taking Williams to the hospital. Shortly he learned that his beloved son was dead.
He fell to the concrete in the booking area and checked the box marked suicidal on an intake form. Williams wasn’t put on suicide watch, instead they threw him in a 24/7 video-monitored holding cell to wait to be transported to Tulsa county jail.
His mental illness continued, he was screaming, dancing aimlessly, crawling on all fours and slammed his head into the cell wall and the Owasso police didn’t help an obviously distraught man. Upon Williams arrival to the booking area at the county jail, on Oct. 22nd, Owasso officer Jack Wells admitted to slamming him to the floor while trying to place handcuffs on him. Officer Wells told Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations (OSBI) that he “landed on top of Elliott’s shoulder and head,” and that the prisoner “appeared to be fine with no injuries.”
In an internal affairs report, the sheriff’s department stated, Williams struggled after being knocked to the ground, “At this time it is obvious that Williams is having a difficult time standing.” Sheriff Glanz and the investigators said in a May 2013 deposition that after watching the surveillance video, they were concerned Williams had broken his neck. Glanz said “After viewing it, I think that the—the officers probably could have done more as well as medical to provide for his care.”
Court papers allege, Williams was screaming that he couldn’t walk. He was yelling, “Cut it out of my belly.” He displayed aberrant posturing in his hands, a characteristic of a serious brain injury, looked like he was having a seizure. He never completed the booking process.
Court documents state, Williams was placed in a holding cell, where he banged his head into the glass on the cell door, then collapsed to the floor. An inmate present in the cell told Sheriff Glanz that no one checked on Williams for at least 20 minutes. Williams repeatedly told nurses he couldn’t move and it felt like his neck was broken. A nurse told investigators she massaged his neck for a little while, but left him in the cell. She relayed to the next nurse that Williams was “fine” regardless of his complaints.
Finally when a jail captain checked on Williams, he had defecated and urinated on himself. The captain noted that it was obvious Williams had mental health issues but was sure that he was still “faking” the paralysis. A nurse eventually got around to calling it a medical emergency. Jailers lifted Williams onto a trash bag lined gurney while he continued screaming that something needed to be cut out of him. These actions showed “he had serious and emergent mental health and medical needs.” When Williams was taken to the showers in the medical unit a nurse reprimanded by saying he should be “ashamed” of his bad behavior and to “quit faking”, followed by telling him to get his “nasty ass” in the shower. Jailers struggled to get Williams into the shower stall but he couldn’t move his body. A sergeant just dumped Williams off the three-foot high gurney, and the cops forcefully stripped him.
Chief Deputy of the jail, Michelle Robinette, admitted her employees just “dumped” Williams’s body into the shower. When questioned why she agreed the jailers’ actions were wrong, Robinette responded, “Because you don’t dump people off of gurneys.” Her staff confessed to leaving Williams alone in the shower for an hour. Williams was then stuck back in his cell, lying still on his back without clothes. He told an officer he wasn’t able to move and couldn’t reach the cup of water that was left for him. “Look, there’s that water in the cup, and I haven’t drank it. I can’t move.” The officer found a nurse to notify about it but she ignored the claim, “[Williams] continues to tell nursing staff here that he just cannot walk… Wants to be waited on.”
A nurse and a counselor reported Williams was “lying on the bed without clothes and refusing to answer any questions, acted as if paralyzed, and saying I want water.” Later that night, an officer said Williams was constantly yelling. She alerted the nursing staff that he “wants something” and requested they “at least go down there and look at him.” Out of all the nurses, they never inconvenienced themselves to do a welfare check on Williams.
The following day, the mental health staff held a meeting to discuss Williams. Bypassing a neurological exam or any other care, they choose to place Williams in a 24/7 video-monitored cell to see if he was “faking” the injury. At 8:30 a.m. the nest morning, two officers dragged Williams and his blanket to another cell and were nice enough to include a Styrofoam cup of water at his feet out of reach. “This was the only cup of water placed in the cell from the 25th until the time Mr. Williams met his demise on October 27th.”
A psychiatrist visited with Williams for the only time at 9:07 a.m.. Williams told him that he couldn’t move, and wasn’t aware of where he was. Now he was so thirsty that all he wanted was a bucket of water to drink. At 10:11 a.m., a jailer dropped a food tray onto the concrete floor of his cell, still out of Williams’s reach. He tried to get his body to move so he could reach the cup of water between 1:15 p.m. and 2:12 p.m., with no one there to assist him. A staff member tossed another food container into the cell at 4:41 p.m. Williams struggled to reach and open the container and could not lift the water cup. A night shift nurse said that she was appalled by Williams’s dire condition. She stated that he had white residue on the side of his mouth and face, and still couldn’t get up. She asked the detention officers to let her in to help him, but they said no, telling her it was unsafe to enter.
At 7:30 a.m. a counselor visited with him through the cell door and took notes citing, “psychosomatic paralysis.” She taunted Williams by telling him “if he wanted to be bailed out by his parents… he would have to walk to the car.” About three hours passed, Williams was desperately trying to lift some food off the tray that was within his reach but spilled the cup of water that was never refilled.
At 5:10 a.m. on the 27th, the final food tray was delivered to Williams’s cell, placed at his feet and way out of his reach. The doctor on duty saw him three hours later, lying on the ground with saliva gathering under his head. The doctor witnessed discharged vomit in Williams’s mouth and several of the still unopened food containers. The concerned doctor immediately notified the medical director that Williams “looked sick, needed a CT scan and needed to go to the hospital.” The medical director, ignored the warning and did nothing, but later testified that he didn’t recall talking to the about this and that “if it happened, it was my bad.” The director’s carelessness was explained by, “People just die sometimes.”
At 11:01 a.m., Williams was motionless, silent, and appeared stiff, nurses made “cosmetic attempts” at CPR. One nurse would only perform the lifesaving maneuver while in an upright position. Efforts were late, weak, and unproductive, his lifeless body could not be restored. He unfortunately perished on a cold concrete floor in a county jail among fellow humans who undoubtedly had little care in the world about him. The medical examiner recorded his findings and ruled that Williams death was from “complications of vertebro-spinal injuries due to blunt force trauma” along with severe dehydration. No matter what the cause of Williams’s ultimately fatal injuries, lawyers for his family are placing the entire ordeal on Tulsa County’s “deliberate indifference” to his personal care, with the complete disregard to human life that eventually resulted in his untimely death. In the United States of America, the supposed “land of the Free”, an Army Veteran with mental disabilities gets treated like he was in Auschwitz, spending the last five days of his life in a cold four-walled cell in the Tulsa County jail, obviously paralyzed. With his pleas for help being completely ignored the 37-year-old man was left unattended like a piece of garbage and allowed him to die.
By Andre’ Gabriel Esparza – DontComply.com
Sourced From: The Daily Beast
A Pro Liberty, Pro Freedom, Human Rights Activist, very involved in a wide variety of Activism and Exposing the Truth at all costs.
I smell a huge lawsuit. Hope they ream this department out and it pisses taxpayers off enough to dump these bastards.
No one ever believes this happens until it happens to them or one of their own family members, etc,.
I myself am a victim of such abuse, as a disabled veteran. Luckily I was rushed to the ER and was helped after several hours of torture.
The thing is the EMT’s and the Officers all tried to hide the real reason and claim I was insane, drunk, disorderly and needed immediate sedation upon entering the hospital. Luckily they new me at the hospital and refused to listen to the EMT’s and Officers and treated my service connected disability//disease and I was released to my family in short time.
Seems the police didn’t want to retrieve me themselves, their prisoner and I am home now. I do have a charge//ticket, but I am going to file not guilty, seek VA treatment for the injuries sustained by the Officers refusing to treat me and their maltreatment of me ignoring my service connected disabilities.
They have aggravated my disease and service connected disabilities and they will not get away with it.
I come from a family of Law Enforcement and military and my father, who was a city police officer and retired PA state constable is having a very hard time with it all.
As I was being brutalized, etc, others were saying “show a little respect”, to which the officers replied, “respect, we also wear a uniform, why should this guy get special treatment”.
They were using the word respect, in relationship to the pain and suffering and cruel and unusual punishment being given me by the officers. The officers seem to confuse this aspect with “special treatment”.
Special treatment to them is not being brutal? Special treatment to them means not handing out cruel and unusual punishment?
This shows the ignorance and outright fascist idealism they have, since they think that normal police procedure and public protocol is mistreating anyone, and especially veterans as people seem to respect veterans and fear the police.
Respect must be earned now that the police, nationwide, have abused their power to the point people are taking aim at them, even killing them in cold blood with the pent up hatred with years of abuse.
It’s a syndrome, the root cause is not society or criminals, it’s the police’s attitude and abuse of the citizens.
It’s my fault I was in the military, it’s also my fault I was injured, in a combat MOS and retired.
BUT those actions of my own which society seems to respect, do not in any way, shape or form mean that as disrespected officers, that I should suffer at their hands.
I know one thing, my children are infuriated, my parents disgusted and the police are at fault. They do this to themselves, they earn the disrespect of even their peers, causing what is already a hard job, to become even more dangerous and the cycle of hatred to continue.
You reap what you sow!
The officers involved should spend the rest of their lives in prison; the “medical professionals” should be executed.
Hang them ALL of them
Ever notice that police unions are “fraternal”? This should tell you something. The “thin-blue-line” is a gang, little different than street gangs–at least when it comes to “covering-up” questionable behavior by police.
In today’s day and age, “officer safety” trumps de-escalation of force. This, in part, is due to the militarization of the police along with training in Israeli police tactics. This becomes a problem, with the “us vs. them” attitude that is fosters, along with the fact that Israel is a very different place, being on a constant “war footing”, and by necessity, its police tactics are very different.
There are too many instances of police being “given a pass”, even when incontrovertible video and audio evidence is presented. Grand juries, guided by police-friendly prosecutors, quite often refuse to charge those police officers who abuse their authority.
Police officers, who want to do the right thing, are quite often marginalized and put into harms way, by their own brethren…When a police officer is beating on someone that is already restrained while yelling, “stop resisting” THAT is but one reason police have a “bad name” in many instances…
Here are changes that can help reduce the police-induced violence:
1. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.
2. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. This includes, prosecutors and judges, police and firefighters, code enforcement and child protective services officials, and others who deal with the citizenry. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves. Require police officers to be “bonded” by an insurance company, with their own funds. No bond= no job.
3. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of police pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.
4. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.
5. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.
6. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.
7. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.
8. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers.
9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned for 48 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.
10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.
11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…
12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.
Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.
A little “Andy Taylor” could go a long way in allaying fears that citizens have of police.
That being said, I have no problem with police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselves.
This is what happens when you are considered guilty until proven innocent! If he were considered innocent until prove guilty they would treat people they arrest as humans!
They treat veterans in Oceana County, Michigan the same exact way. Jailers would put a handicap veteran in isolation all because he needed assistance with walking, deny the veteran his approved VA medications, yell and curse at the vets.
In Williamsport PA, Wilkes Barre PA and all surrounding areas of PA they treat veterans who are disabled with cruel and unusual punishment. A lot of times not harm or injuries are aggravated, but in many cases this happens and the veterans remain quiet out of respect for the police that are not insane.
But now that they have had about a decade of getting away with such abuses which has caused them to feel they can escalate the abuse to the point of harming and causing even more injuries, etc, they are seeing more and more civil rights abuse cases being dished out at them.
This has not slowed their brutality. Many veterans are hiding the fact they are veterans when having to be in contact with the police. I myself will not hide any and all evidence of my military service, retired status, etc, etc, etc, from the police. They actually have a little checkbox on the tickets to tick off if the person is a veteran.
Some of the officers and emts who are directly involved in causing me injury and aggravating my service connected disabilities are claiming they had no clue I was a veteran, yet they have it ticked off and noted in their “paper trail”.
The fact is that the EMT’s seem to also be infuriated when they have to deal with disabled veterans and that’s very very terrifying alone in itself without the police involved.
wow I have no words here. My goodness dear God.
Inhumane, indecent, and disgusting. What the hell is going on in America’s prisons? This is Abu Ghraib style abuse. Leave a man lie naked on the floor in front of a bunch of women jailers? Leave a PARALYZED man to starve to death on the floor of a cell? My God, these people are monsters.
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Everyone of these idiots need to be fired and charged with murder, every damn one of them.
No sir! Everyone of these filthy monsters needs to be standing on a trap door begging for their miserable lives, before they meet their maker and descend into Hell!
I simply have no words to convey the level of anger in me…
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