Thread: The "Devil's Chair"
2/13/2012 2:06pm, #1
The "Devil's Chair"
I'm a little late on this story, but the tl;dr is that a mentally ill 62 y/o went into Florida, and got arrested twice for relatively minor transgressions. He was held after the second arrest, became combative in his cell and was peppersprayed numerous times. After this, he was also put into a restraint chair, stripped naked, outfitted with a spit hood, and sprayed at least twice after that.
Its a pretty crazy story. Even though the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, the local D.A. has chosen not to prosecute the deputies.
2/13/2012 2:28pm, #2
Wow! I just read that whole article. I can tell you, since I have in depth experience with the correctional laws of the state of Florida, that they violated a whole **** load of use of force guidelines. Of course, the State and Counties differ on what is accepted practice for pepper spraying someone.
In the state DOC, you can give 3 bursts of 1 second duration. Then you must stop and re-assess the situation. If the inmate is compliant at that point you MUST stop. You can't go any further. If they are refusing to comply, THEN you can do it again.
I will add also, that all of these use of force situations, since they are not spontaneous, are video'd. So that all can see that they are justified and done properly.
Also, we don't use those restraint chairs, even with mental health inmates.
In this case, it was clearly a violation of civil rights, and way beyond accepted use of force guidelines. For one, ALL use of force guidelines by the FDLE, which every officer, county or state must adhere to, say that once the inmate has de-escilated, you must do so also. Under ALL circumstances. Even if the inmate spits in your face. If he turns around at that point to cuff up, you must stop any use of force and aply cuffs.
One they strapped the inmate to a chair, medical should have been called and under no circumstances should pepper spray been applied.
This was really bad correctional practices, and she should get a **** load of money from the jail. She will win in the end. But she won't get her husband back, which is the truely shitty part.
2/13/2012 3:47pm, #3
Only working with minors, I've never used restraint chairs. However, we do use a papoose board, which is pretty strictly regulated
She's in her 60's, I'm sure she'd rather see justice than the money as compensation. After this amount of time, it doesn't seem like it is going to go any further from a criminal standpoint.
2/13/2012 5:38pm, #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2012
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2/13/2012 8:59pm, #5
The truth is that its cronyism in the first degree. She will get her civil lawsuit money, but she's not going to get the satisfaction of seeing those responsible punished, or her husband back.
2/14/2012 10:42am, #6
I don't think it is cronyism as much as the way the law works. They can't find criminal charges on the individuals if what they were doing is correct based on their use of force guidlines. If they went out of guidlines and did what they wanted, then they would be liable. So what they would have to do is find that the use of force guidlines used by the institution are criminal. Even though they don't follow what the state DOC follows, they are not in violation of any direct law.
So no one did anything criminal per se. Ethical or immoral is different. That's why I say she will win a civil case. Those are different. And easier to win. It may end up resulting in policy changes and stuff like that, but not something that will punish the individuals involved.
So the DA won't bring the case unless they have something they can win on. And they don't want to bring charges against the Jail itself because, thoes policies are sifted through to make sure they don't violate law. So they know it is a lost cause.
Now, someone could loby to get a law made that would make some changes on how this is done, but it still won't help this lady out.