Prison Guards Filmed as Neglected Army Veteran Died in Jail Cell
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OREGON — October 8, 2018
Cruelty in the U.S. can seem to be higher than that in any other country in the world, and most recently, Oregon sheriff’s deputies videotaped an army veteran as he died of a drug overdose in a jail cell.
None of the three people involved will be charged, but the States sheriff’s office has condemned the actions of its subordinates.
The veteran, 31-year-old Bryan Perry, served in the Iraq War, was honorably discharged and received a Purple Heart, his lawyer told local media outlets. The deceased’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Clackamas County.
According to police data, two videos were filmed on the deputies’ cell phones in November 2016. In them, viewers can hear the jailers laughing at a man as he flails around in agony.
“We should go show this to his girlfriend and be like, ‘You love this?’“ one of the deputies said on the recording.
Perry and his girlfriend were arrested together. Prior to the girlfriend being escorted to a separate holding tank for women, she shouted, “I love you, Bryan.”
Perry shouted back, “I love you, too.”
This information comes from 18 pages of police records that the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office released this week.
Perry was being held in the jail cell after allegedly violating his probation, according to the records.
“I cannot comment on the pending lawsuit, which focuses primarily on Mr. Perry’s medical care provided by the Jail medical contractor,” he said. “But I will say this: The laughter, substance, and tone of several comments heard from my employees in that video were inappropriate, and do not conform to our professional standards,” Sheriff Craig Roberts said in a statement.
Perry’s postmortem medical examination showed amphetamine, methamphetamine, and THC in his system. When he was searched upon arrival at the jailhouse, it was found that he had used bath salts, heroin, and meth, according to the records.
Perry arrived at the jail after 7 p.m. according to police reports. By about 11:45 p.m., he was deemed unresponsive and rushed to the hospital while in cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at 12:16 a.m.
In the roughly four hours between when Perry arrived at the jail and when he was taken to the hospital, he was reported to be moving erratically and twitching to varying degrees, which is not uncommon with methamphetamine users, police said.
The jailhouse sergeant saw Perry being placed in a chair during booking.
“It also indicated to me that Mr. Perry was not being uncooperative or combative but just unable to sit still,” the sergeant wrote in his narrative of the incident. He added that potential weapons, like a chair, are not given to combative inmates.
The housing sergeant’s narrative states that Perry’s girlfriend was exhibiting similar erratic behavior. The deputies believed the couple had ingested the same substance, but she was experiencing worse symptoms.
“[She] was not responding verbally and had begun to foam at the mouth brown and bloody looking fluid,” one deputy’s report reads.
Perry’s girlfriend was taken to the hospital at roughly 9:40 p.m.
The deputies and a nurse continued to observe Perry for nearly two hours. As his condition worsened, they held him down and took his vitals. He became less rigid and the color left his face, so the group began CPR on Perry and retrieved an automated external defibrillator (AED).
Page seven of the 18-page report states that the AED failed to work.
“At one point the AED stated, ‘Shock Advised,’ but when the medical staff pushed the button, the message stated, ‘Shock Canceled,’ and no shock was delivered,” the report reads.
Paramedics arrived later and took Perry to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Roberts’ office only released the two videos documenting the overdose the day after The Oregonian newspaper made public records request for them and wrote about the wrongful death lawsuit filed by Perry’s family.
Perry’s mother and estate filed the suit, which alleges that county deputies and medical staff from Corizon Health Inc., the jail’s medical contractor, failed to properly screen Perry, get him immediate medical attention and send him to a hospital.
“We conducted an internal investigation and took disciplinary action against the employees who still worked at the Sheriff’s Office,” Roberts said in his statement. “The employee who filmed the video had resigned by the time of that investigation.”
The deceased’s family is also sure that in addition to the poor-quality inspection of Perry, the guards themselves are to blame for his death. Perry’s mother said she allegedly saw a number of bruises and injuries while visiting her son in prison.
In his turn, Roberts didn’t say what type of disciplinary action was taken against the two deputies who still work in his office. It is only known that none of them will be charged.