Michael Sabbie, 35, was found dead in a jail cell at the Bi-State Jail, in Texarkana, TX on July 22, 2015 after his health problems were repeatedly ignored by jail employees. Now, two years later, his family is still trying to get answers and decided to file a lawsuit.
Sabbie was arrested after getting into an argument with his wife, Teresa Sabbie, and allegedly threatening her. Within 48 hours of his arrest, Sabbie reportedly visited the medical office at the jail twice and complained about breathing issues. And when he was returned to his cell, he even questioned if the jail was going to do anything about his medical issues, reported The Root.
Even during his court appearance, jail officials noticed Sabbie’s health was an issue. When he entered a not guilty plea, Sabbie said he needed to go to the hospital because he was spitting up blood. His dangerous health problems were once again disregarded.
On the way back to his cell, Sabbie stopped to lean up against a wall, and complained once again about breathing issues.
The video below shows Sabbie being thrown to the ground by officers while saying, “I can’t breathe.”
On Thursday, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in Texarkana, Texas, seeking damages on behalf of Sabbie’s widow and their three young children, as well as a fourth child from another relationship.
According to NBC, the lawsuit alleges that the jail “forc[ed Sabbie] to endure extreme and needless pain and suffering, and causing death.”
“The medical neglect in this case went way beyond negligence,” Erik Heipt, the lawyer representing the Sabbie family, said. “It’s a textbook example of deliberate indifference.”
No one was charged in Sabbie’s death, but the lawsuit states jail employees, and the private prison company in charge of the Bi-State Jail played a role in Sabbie’s “unnecessary death.”
“The senselessness of his death has affected me deeply. It was totally preventable. It sickens me to know he needed to go to the hospital and was denied. They treated him as if his life did not matter,” Teresa Sabbie said in a statement.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)