A 35-year-old father of four, Michael Sabbie, died last year in Bi State Jail (located on the border between Texas and Arkansas) and the shocking footage of the moments before his death has been released.
The stay-at-home dad, who was arrested on a domestic assault charge, was found “unresponsive” in his cell on the morning of July 22, 2015, suggesting he died in his sleep. A medical examiner deemed his death “natural,” noting Sabbie’s obesity and heart muscle damage. Fortunately for Sabbie’s family, there’s video footage proving that he was killed unlawfully, the Huffington Post reports.
In the video, he can be seen screaming, “I can’t breathe” as five guards pile on top of him inside the Bi State Jail and a sixth officer pepper-sprays him as he lay on the concrete floor. Sabbie continues to shout, “I can’t breathe, sir. Please! Please!” while officers force him into the shower. His words are reminiscent of the final plea of 43-year-old Eric Garner, who was also killed at the hands of police officers in 2014.
"On July 23, 2015, Michael Sabbie—a 35-year-old Black father of four from Texarkana, Arkansas—was found dead in a cell at the privately-operated Bi-State Justice Center. Yesterday (October 5), The Huffington Post published video that shows what happened immediately before his death". Read more on #Colorlines #MichaelSabbie
The guards then take him to his cell, remove his handcuffs and leave him on the floor of the cell overnight. Sabbie, who at that point had been in custody for roughly 48 hours, was dead by the morning. He was originally arrested on July 19, 2015, following a domestic disturbance call.
Edwin Budge, a lawyer who regularly represents families of individuals who have died in jails across the country, said that the video is “without a doubt among one of the most outrageous. Clearly he’s a person in a state of medical crisis, in medical need, asking for help, and the response to his essentially pleas for medical help is inhumane, which is a term I don’t use lightly.”
Check out the intense video above.
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