A disturbing new video has been released on the internet. This time, it shows a father of four begging for his life as correctional officers crush the man to death, says the Huffington Post.
The man identified as Michael Sabbie — a 35-year old stay-at-home father of four children — passed away last year when five prison guards crushed him at the Bi State Jail. This facility sits on the border of Texas and Arkansas and is run by a for-profit company; not the state.
“I Can’t Breathe”
These were the last words said by the 35-year old before he died. He stated to the guards that he suffered from pneumonia.
According to ViralNova, he was originally detained after a domestic violence dispute with his wife, Teresa. His arrest occurred because Sabbie allegedly threatened his wife during an argument over finances before he had left the home. He was later charged with third-degree assault and sent to the Bi State Jail.
The video was released this month, and it is disturbing for anyone to watch. During the video, the father of four is pleading for his life with the guards. He yells that he cannot breathe because he suffers from pneumonia 19 to 20 times, says Fusion. In the video, witnesses can see how the guards are holding him down and crushing him, despite his cries for help.
The morning after the incident, which was July 22, 2015, Sabbie was found in his cell unresponsive. A medical examiner later deemed his death as “natural.”
The Huffington Post first published the video. It shows the guards holding him up against the wall outside of a nurse’s station at the jail. He states that he cannot breathe even when the guards force him into the shower. He had already been pepper-sprayed, according to The Huffington Post article.
A guard threatened to pepper-spray Sabbie again when he collapsed. The guards assumed that he was faking his illness and fainting, so they took him to his cell. As the guards continued to remove his restraints and leave him on the floor of his cell, he stated that he could not breathe.
Sabbie had been in custody for only 48 hours before his death.
Not The First Prison Death This Year
Unfortunately, Sabbie’s story is not unique. According to a count tallied by The Huffington Post, there are 816 prison deaths in their database, 256 suicides counted, and 34-reader submitted tips about deaths in custody.
Initial reports had cited Sabbie as unresponsive and suggested the man died in his sleep. They even noted that Sabbie was obese and that he had heart muscle damage; therefore, they deemed his death “natural,” says The Huffington Post.
Attorneys representing the family disagree. While they do agree that Sabbie could have died from a hypertensive heart condition, they say the video proves that his treatment in the facility is more likely to blame for his death than a heart condition, says The Huffington Post article.
As of right now, the Bi State Jail is one of the smallest in the country — having only 134 inmates.
The Department of Justice has already informed Sabbie’s wife on August 1, 2016, that they would not be prosecuting anyone in regards to her husband’s death, says The Huffington Post. The department went on to state that they concluded there was no evidence that a federal criminal civil rights violation has occurred.
The family is now moving forward with their lawsuit, says The NY Daily News.