Monday, May 27, 2013

Mother Dies In Courtroom While “Gasping for Breath” Officers Refused To Give Her Asthma Inhaler

AUTHOR Libertarian Girl
May 27, 2013 9:27am PST

There are thousands of people in jail for non-violent and victimless crimes. Our prison systems are over crowded and corrupt. Nearly everyday we see a new story on police abuse and tragedy in the criminal justice system. It makes no sense to throw people in jail that can’t afford to pay traffic tickets. They certainly can’t pay them behind bars. You would think debtors prisons were a thing of the past but they aren’t. One woman was thrown in jail over an unpaid traffic violation and she paid with the ultimate price, her life .
Dwana Vonica London-Richardson died, at age 45, on a courtroom floor struggling to breath, after being arrested and jailed over an unpaid parking traffic violation. Dwana was thrown in jail over a 2008 traffic ticket and then refused medical treatment.
Courthouse News reports that a federal lawsuit as been filed against the St. Clair County Sheriff, county jail administration, and the company that is responsible for providing health care to inmates.
Ayunna Johnae London, the daughter of the deceased victim, claims her mother died gasping for breath in the court after being treated callously and unconstitutionally. Her mother suffered from asthma and other health conditions yet the jail administration refused to get her medication, saying she was faking it, and then they let her die in the courtroom, according to Ayunna.
Southern Healthcare Partners which claims to be, “the leader in customized inmate medical solutions,” and services over 12 states was responsible for Dwanas’ care. Her daughter claims they failed to treat her properly.
Ayunna visted her mother two days after she was arrested and claims her mother was ill, couldn’t walk well, was suffering from breathing problems and pain in her legs. She also claims that the staff refused to acknowledge her illness.
On the morning of her court hearing Courthouse News reports:
“Ayunna headed to the St. Clair County Courthouse early that morning,” the complaint states. “She could not locate where court was being held. She saw deputy (or jailer) John Doe standing at the fire station, talking to a firefighter so she pulled into the station to ask where court was being held.
“When she pulled into the fire station, she saw her mother lying on the ground next to the police car with her legs extended under the police car.
“She asked them what had happened and her mother told her that she did not know, that she had just passed out. Ms. Richardson was sweating and struggling breathing.
“Ayunna had one of her mother’s asthma pumps in her car so she asked if her mother could sit in her car and get some air.
“Ayunna gave her mother the asthma pump but it was not working. Her mother’s breathing continued to get worse.”
London says the deputies still refused to take her mom to the hospital, and said would be locked up if she didn’t keep her court date.
“Ms. Richardson was unable to walk,” the complaint states. “Deputy (or jailer) Doe obtained an office chair from the courthouse and they used it to wheel Ms. Richardson to the courtroom.
“Ayunna set beside deputy (or jailer) Doe and her mother, fanning her mother, whose breathing continued to get worse.
“After sitting in the courtroom waiting for about twenty minutes, Ms. Richardson stated that she ‘could not take anymore,’ and she told deputy/jailer Doe that she needed help.
“Ayunna also pleaded with deputy/jailer Doe to get someone to help her mother.
“Deputy/jailer Doe responded as though he believed Ms. Richardson was just putting on.
“Ms. Richardson then stated ‘I need to lay down.’
“Ms. Richardson laid down on the courtroom floor and her body started to shaking.
“Deputy/jailer Doe took no action to assist Ms. Richardson or to clear the courtroom.
“Everyone in the courtroom watched as Ms. Richardson died in court, on the courtroom floor.
“Ayunna stayed beside her mother trying to do CPR to bring her back for about twenty minutes, but she failed.”
By the time emergency personal had arrived it was too late to save Dwana. Now her daughter is seeking punitive damages for constitutional violations, wrongful death and negligence. It’s an entirely backwards and corrupt practice to jail those who cannot afford to pay fines. To add injury to insult this woman was then refused medical care and paid her traffic ticket with her life.

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