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Jail accused of ignoring inmate’s pleas before he died

The above video includes footage that may be disturbing to watch.

The family of an Arkansas man is suing the jail he died in, claiming he was denied adequate medical care. Michael Sabbie died in 2015, just days after he was locked up at the bi-state justice center. He had been arrested over a verbal dispute with his wife. Sabbie’s attorney gave CBS News videos from inside the jail that appear to show the state he was in about 12 hours before he was found dead. CBS News hasn’t been able to independently confirm the videos.

Sabbie’s family says the jail knew he had serious medical conditions and failed to get him proper help when he was clearly struggling, reports CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca. Surveillance video given to CBS News from Sabbie’s attorney appears to show a security guard at the justice center throw Sabbie to the ground.

According to the lawsuit, Sabbie wasn’t feeling well and had stopped to lean against the wall before attempting to enter the booking area to make a phone call.

A second video, taken by a jail employee, purportedly shows what happens after Sabbie is on the floor. He’s held down by six guards and pepper-sprayed, brought to a jail nurse for less than a minute, rinsed off and returned to his cell.

During the nine-and-a-half minute video, Sabbie says he can’t breathe at least 19 times and asks for water.

The next morning, jail guards found the 35-year-old dead on his jail cell floor.

“He is a medically-vulnerable person. So he reported at intake that he had hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and asthma,” said Erik Heipt, who is representing Sabbie’s family in the lawsuit against the jail filed earlier this week.

The suit claims jail staff didn’t give Sabbie his medications, ignored his labored breathing and used excessive force.

LaSalle Corrections runs this privately-owned jail and 17 other facilities across four states.

They said they do not make comments on pending litigation, but told a local news station last October that they comply with Texas Jail Commission standards.

Heipt says the family wants justice and answers for the father of four.

“They want to expose what happened in the hopes that this sort of thing doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Heipt said.

According to jail protocol, somebody was supposed to check on Sabbie every 30 minutes overnight. The suit claims that a guard said she did and then later admitted to lying.

2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Trump’s Israel Visit: Major Security in Jerusalem, Bethlehem

Trump's Israel Visit: Major Security In Jerusalem, Bethlehem

British soldiers dig their way through the debris in search of survivors after a blast at the King David Hotel in 1946. Fox Photos / Getty Images

Israel’s Operation “Blue Shield” will involve undercover police, special patrols, motorcycle officers, sniffer dogs and helicopters. More than 10,000 police officers will be tasked with securing his trip throughout Jerusalem, the restive holy city that both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital.

“The level of security will be at its highest,” said Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the Israeli police. “It is a top priority that there is close coordination with the U.S., making sure the visit goes exactly according to plan.”

Palestinian officials also said they were working with the U.S. on logistics, such as Trump’s crossing from Jerusalem to Bethlehem and meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

“All the roads he will be passing through will be secured and emptied of vehicles,” said Maj. Gen. Adnan Damiri, the spokesperson for the Palestinian security forces. “Armored cars and police dogs trained to detect explosive materials will be used in cooperation with American security.”

On Thursday, local media began reporting that a full-blown U.S. airlift had begun. Laden with equipment and dozens of vehicles, around 30 C-17 military planes arrived in Israel. The sprawling security operation in Israel and the West Bank underscored the longstanding tensions in the region. At the heart of the conflict is the Palestinians’ desire for an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem land captured by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.

According to Israeli emergency services, some 48 Israelis have been killed and 608 wounded in attacks by individual Palestinians since August 2015 the latest bout of violence. During the same period, around 260 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and more than 18,000 wounded, according to Palestinian officials. Coordination between different countries’ security agencies will be a major priority given the size and importance of the operation, said Christopher Hagon, managing director of Florida-based security consultancy Incident Management Group.

“The more resources you have, the more someone has to organize them that would be a really big task,” said Hagon, who was a personal protection officer to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in the 1980s. “People tend to look at this stuff as basic protection that they can see, but what they don’t see is that 90 percent is underwater. And it is made more complicated by other agencies wanting this, asking for that.”

He added: “I always had concerns that if it was overkill it might jeopardize the operation.”

And there certainly will be a lot going on during Trump’s visit. The president’s entourage will include his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Trump, who professes to have an exceptionally warm relationship with Israel, will also be traveling to the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, where Christians believe Christ was born.

Trump's Israel Visit: Major Security In Jerusalem, Bethlehem

Trump's Israel Visit: Major Security In Jerusalem, Bethlehem

A banner welcoming President Donald Trump hangs on the side of a building in Jerusalem. Abir Sultan / EPA

His trip will include a visit the one of Christianity’s holiest sites, the

Church of the Holy Sepulchre[2], and he will be the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall in East Jerusalem[3].

Trump has said he is hoping to

broker a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israelis[4], a feat that has eluded world leaders for decades.

Back at the King David, workers are preparing for Sunday when the U.S. delegation will transform the hotel into a fortress ahead of the president’s arrival the following day.

The hotel’s 233 rooms will be occupied not only by Trump and his family but also the U.S. Secret Service, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, as well as Israeli security officials, according to Ritz.

He added: “Nothing is taken for chance so Trump and his family will be very safe.”

F. Brinley Bruton reported from London.

[1]

References

  1. ^ A banner welcoming President Donald Trump hangs on the side of a building in Jerusalem. Abir Sultan / EPA His trip will include a visit the one of Christianity’s holiest sites, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and he will be the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall in East Jerusalem. Trump has said he is hoping to broker a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israelis, a feat that has eluded world leaders for decades. Back at the King David, workers are preparing for Sunday when the U.S. delegation will transform the hotel into a fortress ahead of the president’s arrival the following day. The hotel’s 233 rooms will be occupied not only by Trump and his family but also the U.S. Secret Service, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, as well as Israeli security officials, according to Ritz. He added: “Nothing is taken for chance so Trump and his family will be very safe.” F. Brinley Bruton reported from London. (media4.s-nbcnews.com)
  2. ^ Church of the Holy Sepulchre (www.nbcnews.com)
  3. ^ to visit the Western Wall in East Jerusalem (www.nbcnews.com)
  4. ^ broker a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israelis (www.nbcnews.com)

Public Restrooms Become Central To The Opioid Epidemic

Public Restrooms Become Central To The Opioid Epidemic

A public restroom on the platform of the Central Square MBTA station in Cambridge, Mass., which people have used as a place for getting high. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption Jesse Costa/WBUR Public Restrooms Become Central To The Opioid Epidemic

1369 Coffee House owner Josh Gerber opens the bathroom door, which has a combination lock given to patrons at the front counter. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption Jesse Costa/WBUR Public Restrooms Become Central To The Opioid Epidemic

Ryan Curran, the day shift operations manager of police and security at Massachusetts General Hospital, stands in front of the bathrooms in the main lobby. Jesse Costa/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption Jesse Costa/WBUR

Ryan Curran, the day shift operations manager of police and security at Massachusetts General Hospital, stands in front of the bathrooms in the main lobby.

Jesse Costa/WBUR

Speed is critical, especially now, when heroin is routinely mixed with fentanyl. Some clinics and restaurants check on bathroom users by having staff knock on the door after 10 or 15 minutes, but fentanyl can deprive the brain of oxygen and cause death within that window. One clinic has installed an intercom and requires people to respond. Another has designed a reverse motion detector that sets off an alarm if there’s no movement in the bathroom.

Limited public discussion

There’s very little discussion of the problem in public, says Dr. Alex Walley[4], director of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program at Boston Medical Center.

“It’s against federal and state law to provide a space where people can use [illegal drugs] knowingly, so that is a big deterrent from people talking about this problem,” he says.

Without some guidance, more libraries, town halls and businesses are closing their bathrooms to the public. That means more drug use, injuries and discarded needles in parks and on city streets.

In the area around Boston Medical Center, wholesalers, gas station owners and industrial facilities are looking into renting portable bathrooms.

“They’re very concerned for their businesses,” says Sue Sullivan, director of the Newmarket Business Association[5], which represents 235 companies and 28,000 employees in Boston. “But they don’t want to just move the problem. They want to solve the problem.”

Walley and other physicians who work with addiction patients say there are lots of ways to make bathrooms safer for the public and for drug users. A model restroom would be clean and well-lit with stainless steel surfaces, and few cracks and crevices for hiding drug paraphernalia. It would have a biohazard box for needles and bloodied swabs. It would be stocked with naloxone and perhaps sterile water. The door would open out so that a collapsed body would not block entry. It would be easy to unlock from the outside. And it would be monitored, preferably by a nurse or EMT.

There are very few bathrooms that fit this model in the U.S.

Some doctors, nurses and public health workers who help addiction patients argue any solution to the opioid crisis will need to include safe injection sites, where drug users can get high with medical supervision.

“There are limits to better bathroom management,” says Daniel Raymond, deputy director for policy and planning at the New York-based Harm Reduction[6] Coalition[7]. If communities like Boston start to reach a breaking point with bathrooms, “having dedicated facilities like safer drug consumption spaces is the best bet for a long-term structural solution that I think a lot of business owners could buy into.”

Maybe. No business groups in Massachusetts have come out in support of such spaces yet.

This story is part of a reporting partnership with NPR, WBUR and Kaiser Health[8] News[9].

References

  1. ^ Canada (news.nationalpost.com)
  2. ^ at least not yet (www.npr.org)
  3. ^ Dr. Ali Raja (www.massgeneral.org)
  4. ^ Dr. Alex Walley (www.bumc.bu.edu)
  5. ^ Newmarket Business Association (www.newmarketboston.org)
  6. ^ Harm Reduction (harmreduction.org)
  7. ^ Coalition (harmreduction.org)
  8. ^ Kaiser Health (www.kaiserhealthnews.org)
  9. ^ News (www.kaiserhealthnews.org)
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