Macomb County, MI — In Police State USA, a minor traffic violation can land you in a dangerous and, as in the case of Sandra Bland, deadly position. A Detroit mother just learned the hard way how far the police state will go to punish and extract revenue from its citizens — as she was forced to give birth to her baby on the disgusting floor of a Macomb County Jail cell.
Jessica Preston was not wanted for murder, or for human trafficking, or for any act in which there was an actual victim, when she was kidnapped by police while 8-months pregnant and thrown in a cage.
What did Preston do to be kidnapped by armed agents of the state and be locked away, you ask? She was unable to afford the fines levied against her by the state for driving infractions, so her license was suspended. When she was ‘caught’ driving with a suspended license — her first offense — Preston was locked in a cage.
Unable to pay her ridiculously high bail of $10,000, Preston, who was beginning to go into labor, was forced to rot in a cage for 5 days before she’d get a court date. However, she wouldn’t make it to day five.
While in a cell for being financially unable to pay the state for her privilege to drive, Preston went into labor — a month early.
Once Preston realized she was going into labor, she begged officers for help. Every time she cried for help, however, those calls would fall on deaf ears.
“They didn’t believe her,” Linda Preston, Jessica’s mother said. “They just left her (to) lay there. They didn’t care. They just kept saying she wasn’t having the baby, and I don’t know how anybody could say when she was bleeding, ‘You’re not having a baby,’ and that they didn’t send her to the hospital. Who makes that call?
“Everybody just looked at her like she was a piece of dirt.”
Eventually, Preston could no longer prevent her labor and began birthing her baby boy, Elijha, on a mat that laid on the floor of the dirty cell. This disgusting mistreatment of Jessica Preston was captured on the jail’s surveillance video.
Elijha’s father, Thomas Chastain, says he is upset that he missed the birth of his son.
“I didn’t get to cut the cord,” Chastain said. “(I) didn’t get to hold him.”
Not only did Chastain not get to see the birth of his son, but officers and jail staff put both Preston and Elijha’s lives at risk by failing to take any medical precautions — even after the baby was born. Preston’s first baby was born via an emergency cesarean section. For Preston’s safety, her son Elijha was going to be born via a cesarean section, too. But since the birth happened behind bars, that didn’t happen, and he was born prematurely.
“You can’t do that to a human being,” Tina Chastain, Thomas’ mother said. “You can’t. It’s not right. It’s inhumane. How’s it going to affect them to grow up to be an adult, knowing that (he) was born on the floor of a jail cell and wrapped up in a dirty sheet?”
Well, the answer to that question is easy — especially when we consider the history of this jail.
As the Free Thought Project reported last November, this jail has an ominous track record. When she was thrown in jail, just like Preston, 37-year-old Jennifer Meyers hadn’t physically hurt anyone. Meyers had fallen behind on her child support payments and instead of allowing this mother to keep working to actually help her children, a judge threw her in a cage for 30 days. She would only last 12 of those days.
The investigation into the death of Meyers has uncovered disturbing details and exposes, at best, criminal negligence, and, at worst, deliberate torture.
But Meyers and Preston aren’t the only recent victims of officers in the Macomb County Jail. When David Stojcevski, 32, was given a ticket for careless driving in 2014, he never expected it to be a death sentence. However, thanks to modern-day debtor’s prisons in police state USA, a traffic ticket did, in fact, lead to the death of this man.
After the state disapproved of Stojcevski’s driving, they subsequently levied a $772.00 fine against him. Unable to meet the extortion demands of the Macomb County Police, Stojcevski was kidnapped and locked in a cage for failure to pay his debt to the state.
He was sentenced to 30 days. He would only last 17.
During those 17 days, Stojcevski would dwindle away. Under the grim neon lights of a prison cell, Stojcevski would lose a quarter of his body weight as he broke down due to unchecked benzodiazepine withdrawal. Guards watched on surveillance video as Stojcevski died a slow and agonizing death — offering him no help at all.
When asked about the two recent deaths and a mother forced to give birth to her son on the floor of a jail cell, Sheriff Tony Wickersham, who is in charge of the Macomb County Jail, had these encouraging words.
“We have not identified any prosecutable violations of federal criminal law, therefore our investigation is closed,” Wickersham said.