Lawsuit filed over prisoner's death in Texarkana | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lawsuit filed over prisoner's death in Texarkana

Posted By on Thu, May 25, 2017 at 9:59 AM

click to enlarge JAIL ENCOUNTER: Officer approaches Michael Sabbie in shot taken from video.
  • JAIL ENCOUNTER: Officer approaches Michael Sabbie in shot taken from video.
A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Wednesday in the 2015 death of Michael Sabbie, a prisoner in the Bi-State jail in Texarkana.

Sabbie, who was jailed on a misdemeanor domestic threatening charge in Texarkana, Arkansas, died after complaining repeatedly to jailers that he was having difficulty breathing. Criminal investigations resulted in no charges.

The NBC News coverage includes previously released video of officers holding Sabbie down while he complains of his trouble breathing.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Texarkana, Texas.

The case has drawn attention for reasons that include operation of the bi-state facility by the private LaSalle Corrections. As the article notes, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed interest in expanding use of private correctional management companies, reversing Obama administration policy.

Despite a record that detailed medical problems, the lawsuit alleges a variety of shortcomings in handling of Sabbie, including a failure to make minimum checks on him. Gruesome record.

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