According to a recently filed lawsuit, guards allegedly forced an Alabama man into a walk-in freezer or another frigid room where he died from freezing to death inside a county jail.
The family of Anthony “Tony” Mitchell claims that more than a dozen correctional staff members in Walker County allegedly mistreated him and then conspired to cover it up.
The bereaved mother of Mitchell, Margaret Mitchell, claims in the lawsuit that her son endured “hellish” circumstances inside the jail for around two weeks prior to his passing after his detention in the middle of January.
The bombshell complaint claims,“While Tony languished naked and dying of hypothermia in the early morning hours of Jan. 26 and his chances for survival trickled away, numerous corrections officers and medical staff wandered over to his open cell door to spectate and be entertained by his condition,”
The lawsuit speculates that Mitchell, 33, was held in the jail naked owing to the facility’s suicide watch policy after being tased by guards as promised to a relative by a Walker County sheriff’s officer after Mitchell was arrested.
According to the lawsuit, Mitchell seemed to have been subjected to some bizarre punishment after being confined to a restraint chair and kept in the “jail kitchen’s walk-in freezer or a similar frigid environment for an extended time.”
According to his relatives, Mitchell battled drug addiction and issues with his physical and mental health.
As authorities responded to a phone call from the terrified family member on January 12, Mitchell was taken into custody.
The following day, the sheriff’s office reported in a press release that Mitchell allegedly shot a gun at deputies once when they arrived before they withdrew to the nearby woods. Mitchell was brought into arrest as numerous officials, including Sheriff Nick Smith, flocked to the site.
Authorities said they found meth, heroin, and a firearm at the scene.
Mitchell’s body temperature was barely 72 degrees when he was brought to a public hospital. Although the results of an autopsy have not been made public, the complaint claims that “it is clear that Tony’s death was wrongful, the result of horrific, malicious abuse and mountains of deliberate indifference.”
In Mitchell’s medical records, an emergency department physician stated that it was difficult to explain why his body was so cold; it was unknown whether he had been exposed to a chilly environment and it was possible that he had a medical condition that caused hypothermia.
Five hours went after Mitchell was discovered in the frigid location before he received medical attention. According to the lawsuit, when he got to the hospital, he had no heartbeat and was breathing “only agonal respirations of 2-4 breaths per minute.”
The Mitchell family gives one member of the prisons department credit for keeping video of Mitchell’s time in jail. According to al.com, guard Karen Kelly has also filed a lawsuit against the Walker County Sheriff’s Office over being fired after sharing videos of Mitchell being mistreated in jail with his family.
In a statement to The Post, the Mitchell family’s attorney criticized the jail.
Attorney Jon Goldfarb declared, “This is the worst case of inmate abuse I have ever seen.”