Jail Videos Reveal Black Inmate Died After Assault By Officers

Circulating jail videos show, Michael Sabbie begged for breath before dying as he was being manhandled by several police officers in his cell.

35-year-old Black American, Micheal Sabbie died in his Texarkana, Arkansas cell in July 2015. According to the Huffington Post, medical examination carried out stated that Sabbie died out of natural cause. This incident adds up to the number of deaths in prison like in the case of Sandra Bland.

Meanwhile, jail videos which found its way into the media highlight the real circumstances that led to the death of Sabbie. The video shows a number of correction officers swooping on him while he yet said he couldn’t breathe. From the footage, one of the officers can be seen spraying Sabbie in the face with pepper spray while his other colleagues held him to the ground.

After the officers were satisfied with the level of assault administered to him, they took him to a staff nurse. Surprisingly, the nurse ignored his complaint though she had foreknowledge about the condition.

Sabbie was then taken back to his cell, where he died barely some few hours later. Jail inmates are often wrongfully treated and those that suffer from such treatments are Blacks.


The 35-year-old Black man and a father of four was arrested on July 19, 2015, and charged with domestic assault. Sabbie had argued with his wife, Teressa Sabbie about money and had issued some verbal threats to her.

“But if we didn’t have a video, we’d never know that he had been begging for help due to his shortness of breath and inability to breathe. We’d never know that he said ‘I can’t breathe’ 19 times in the nine minutes that we hear in that video,”  Erik J. Heipt, one of the lawyers for the Sabbie family said. Heipt argued that though medical examination claims that the death of his client was as a result of natural causes, it could have been prevented.

He further added that “The jail or the county investigates itself, inmates aren’t interviewed, medical records are not reviewed, video recordings are lost or destroyed, and medical examiners who are in charge of determining the cause of death are not given complete information, and so the cause of death is either undetermined, wrong, or doesn’t tell the whole picture.”

An August 1st, 2016, letter sent to Teressa Sabbie by the Justice Department indicated that they couldn’t find sufficient evidence to prosecute anyone in the case of her husband’s death.

It is really sad how the law operates in this country. Law enforcement has turned into to “contract killer.” They will use every opportunity given them to brutalize Black people.  This isn’t the only one. Many Black prison inmates suffer unduly at the hands of correction officers. I wonder why such people are made to keep their job. Lessons from the countless police brutality cases such as that of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile among others should have been a wake up call for our nation. America deserves better! Black lives really matter!

Source: Newsone

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