According to a new lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Corrections, multiple corrections officers made jokes about the potential of an inmate killing herself and even made bets that she would. Sadly, 25-year-old Janika Edmond did end up killing herself, and one of the corrections officers ended up winning lunch, a subway sandwich.
Edmond had a history of depression and suicide attempts, and she allegedly announced to the prison guards that she was going to kill herself, but was ignored by the guards as people in her position often are. The lawsuit states that everyone in the prison was well aware of her condition, considering that she had attempted suicide or requested to be put on suicide watch 8 times in 13 months.
Her mental health was such a concern prison doctors ordered she receive certain treatments for her depression, and that she be kept under a close watch in case she ended up attempting suicide, or even talked about it.
However, for some reason, police never called prison doctors or any authorities when Edmond acted out and then threatened to kill herself. The officers took her and isolated her in a shower area, threatening to take her to solitary confinement. When she asked for a suicide-prevention vest, her cries for help were ignored.
At this point, the lawsuit alleges that video footage at the prison, shows the guards walking away and leaving her alone in the shower area, taking bets as to whether she was going to kill herself or not. Just minutes later, Edmon did in fact attempt suicide by hanging herself with a bra, and when Edmon’s unconscious body was found, Officer Dianna Callahan was seen pumping her fists in the air in celebration, shouting “Somebody owes me lunch!”
Allegedly, Callahan had made a bet with fellow officer Kory Moore about whether or not the woman would go through with it.
According to the lawsuit, “Upon information and belief, Callahan made a bet with Moore that Edmond would become suicidal.”
To make matters even more disturbing, choking noises and commotion can be heard very clearly in the video, and the officers were in earshot, meaning they could have potentially ignored what was going on, even knowing that an inmate was attempting suicide.
Eventually, she was taken to a hospital where she was declared brain dead, and she lost her life four days later.
It also seems that there was potentially an attempted cover-up after the suicide attempt. Edmond’s mother came by the prison to visit less than an hour after the incident, and she was turned away and told that her daughter was not accepting visitors. However, they did not inform the family about the suicide attempt. In fact, the family was not informed until the following day.
Michigan Department of Corrections spokesperson Chris Gautz gave the following lame excuse for not informing the family of the incident.
“In this case, the prisoner had chosen not to list her biological family in her emergency contacts. We respected her wishes,” Gautz told The Daily Beast.
Surprisingly, even before the lawsuit surfaced, the prison fired both of the officers in question, and Callahan is actually facing charges of involuntary manslaughter. Despite being terminated and facing these charges, Callahan was able to get her job back by lobbying through the police union.