When an inmate enters prison, it goes without saying that they leave certain rights at the door. However, that doesn’t mean they have none at all. According to Shaunda Brummet, her son, Daniel Sisson, 21, died because staff at Vista Detention Facility didn’t respect his.
According to court documents, Sisson entered jail as a result of a heroin addiction. This was reportedly something he found himself with after looking for a means of dealing with Rider’s syndrome, a disease characterized by arthritis.
At first, Brummet says she felt relieved his son was behind bars, where she was hoping he would be safe from the temptations found in the outside world. She also hoped they might be able to help him with the addiction that landed him there in the first place.
Unfortunately, back in 2011, Sisson suffered an asthma attack while in his jail cell. Although footage from that day shows facility staff doing their regular checks, no one helped the inmate.
The family’s attorney, Chris Morris, believes this video makes his case. According to him, the footage makes clear that staff were simply going through their paces and “don’t even break stride” when passing by Morris’ cell. Instead, Morris says, “they just walk right on by.”
On top of failing to follow standard of care, the family’s lawsuit against the San Diego Sherriff’s Department also claims the staff was being deliberately indifferent to Sisson’s medical needs.
They had their first day in court this past Tuesday, but reports haven’t followed yet.
Without seeing the footage, it’s tough to know how much of a case the family has. However, it’s important to understand that you should speak with an attorney before you or your loved one ever goes behind bars, to better understand what rights are still respected. This way you’ll know when it’s appropriate to press charges to prevent something like this from happening.