An Alabama man has died after he was restrained in a prison’s walk-in freezer.
The Washington Postreports Anthony Mitchell, 33, died of hypothermia on Jan. 26 at Walker County Jail in Jasper, Alabama. Physicians attempted to resuscitate Mitchell, whose body temperature was 72 degrees Fahrenheit, for three hours before pronouncing him dead.
“I am not sure what circumstances the patient was held in incarceration but it is difficult to understand a rectal temperature of 72 degree Fahrenheit while someone is incarcerated in jail,” court documents read. “I do not know if he could have been exposed to a cold environment. I do believe that hypothermia was the ultimate cause of his death.”
Back in January, Mitchell was arrested for firing a gun during a welfare check requested by his family in regards to his mental health. Mitchell’s family has since filed a lawsuit against the prison, alleging that Mitchell was delayed medical treatment, and that the prison is covering up their abuse.
“When the Mitchell family first came to me, they told me that after they asked for a wellness check for their son and brother, he was arrested and went to jail, and now is dead,” his mother’s lawyers said. “They told me they heard rumors he was abused in jail, but at that time they hadn’t seen the videos we have now seen.”
Though it’s unclear how long Mitchell was restrained in the jail freezer, his family’s attorney’s believe he died due to neglect at the hands of the prison staff.
“While Tony languished naked and dying of hypothermia in the early morning hours of January 26 and his chances for survival trickled away, numerous corrections officers and medical staff wandered over to his open cell door to spectate and be entertained by his condition,” Mitchell’s lawyers argued.