David Stojcevsk was sent to jail for reckless driving, and ended up dying in police custody.
Originally, the Michigan man was ordered to pay a $700 plus fine, but was sent to the Macomb County Jail for 30 days because he could not afford to pay the fine.
We all know that jails do not have favorable conditions, but regardless, guards and prison officials have a job to maintain the safety of the inmates they are paid to monitor.
But the Macomb County Jail in Mt Clemens, Michigan did anything but maintain Stojcevsk’s safety.
Early accounts indicate that Stojcevski lost 50 pounds in as little as 17 days while in custody. According to his family’s lawsuit, a doctor prescribed Stojcevski Methadone, Xanax and Klonopin to help him beat his illegal drug addiction — but without the prescribed medication, his body would go into withdrawal. The cause of death was ruled ‘acute withdrawal from medications’.
Stojcevski was in a mental health jail unit that had increased monitoring of inmates; he was even on suicide watch with a camera in his cell. Oddly enough, jail officials stripped him of his clothes, apparently for Stojcevski’s own safety.
That obviously did not work out too well.
Camera footage even shows Stojcevski got into a fight with his naked cellmate, which you can see in the news clip below.
In the mental health unit, jail officials were suppose to check on Stojcevski every 15 minutes and monitor the jail cell surveillance camera. Evidently, someone did not do their job on more than one occasion. And it cost a man his life.
The video shows Stojcevski lying on the bare concrete floor in the final hours of his life.
Dr. Frank McGeorge, who is a medical custody expert, stated that “there is no reason for an incarcerated person who was watched for this period of time to die in custody, he should have had medical attention.”
Dr. McGeorge went on to add, “people do not die from withdrawal all the time, they die from withdrawal when there is neglect associated with it.”
The Macomb County Jail was definitely negligent in this situation, and their negligence contributed to the death of David Stojcevski.
The Stojcevski family recognizes the negligence and has filed a federal lawsuit against the jail. Sadly enough, often times it seems like lawsuits are the only things that get the attention of public officials.
The employees at the Macomb County Jail are suppose to be professionals, there was nothing professional about how they sat there and did nothing while a man went through addiction withdrawals and hallucinations.
Unfortunately, this is far from an isolated incident. Jailhouse deaths like this occur almost daily. And lawsuits apparently do not do much to prevent them from happening again.
So what’s it going to take to prevent these terrible tragedies?