Grants, N.M. — Horrifying video, exposed through a new lawsuit shows an inmate begging to be taken to the hospital as he violently throws up blood — all the while, prison officers stand by and simply watch him die.
For seven hours, Douglas Edminsten writhed in agony as blood spewed from his mouth. Instead of getting the dying man the help he was begging for, prison officers sadistically stood by and watched him die.
“It made me sick to my stomach,” said attorney Glenn Valdez, after seeing the video for the first time. “I’m watching somebody die right in front of my eyes.”
As KOB reports, Edminsten suffered for seven hours, and at some points he appeared to be unconscious. The other inmates were so scared for him that they read Bible passages and even formed a prayer circle.
“We know the inmates and everyone else were trying to get help, but nothing happened,” Valdez said. “He couldn’t call himself or do anything that we take for granted. So without the guards to call, he’s dead.”
When an autopsy was conducted, examiners found that Edminsten had a ruptured blood vessel in his stomach which led to his death. According to the report, his abdomen was full of blood. Had the jail officers taken him to the hospital when he asked for them to, he would’ve had an 80 percent chance of living.
What’s more, Valdez says that prison officers allowed Edminsten to die so that they didn’t have to pay the medical expense of bringing him to a doctor.
“I think it was a financial decision that they didn’t want to pay to take him to a hospital,” he said.
According to KOB, because of the pending litigation, county officials weren’t able to say much about the incident when KOB reached out for comment. They did say that policies at the jail were being reviewed, but there have been no changes yet.
The Cibola County manager also said was an external investigation of Edminsten’s death, but he would not reveal the conclusions of that.
As Valdez notes, he was not like someone on the outside of prison. Edminsten couldn’t simply call 911 and get help. Instead, he was at the mercy of the Cibola County jail guards — and they showed no mercy.
Edminsten’s death is not an isolated incident. In-custody deaths are an all too often tragic occurrence.
Only 48 hours after he made a Facebook post thanking God for his kids, a 35-year-old father of four, Michael Sabbie, died in a concrete cage. His last moments alive were caught on a jail’s surveillance cameras as he uttered the all-too-familiar phrase ‘I can’t breathe’ — 19 times — as cops ignored him.
Somer Nunnally, a mother of two, was arrested on suspicion of DUI in May of 2015. She had ingested some pills and had a bad reaction to them. She was then booked into the Mississippi County jail where she would die a slow and humiliating death — all as guards watched and laughed for their own amusement
Neither Nunnally nor Sabbie had been convicted of a crime. In fact, according to a report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an overwhelming amount of inmates who die in police custody haven’t been convicted of a crime.
As we have seen with the cases of Sandra Bland, Rexdale Henry, Sarah Circle Bear, and others, many of the deaths that occur in prison happen under extremely suspicious circumstances and are labeled as “suicides” without proper investigation.
As the video above illustrates, the problem doesn’t seem to be getting any better.