Black man jailed for traffic violation ends up comatose

pinelawn jail
photo credit: pinelawn jail

Another case of police brutality has allegedly occurred in St. Louis. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bernard Scott was arrested in St. Louis County for having $360 in traffic tickets in Sept. 2014.

Scott was booked into the Pine Lawn jail when he told prison guards that he was experiencing abdominal pain and bleeding. He asked if he could be taken to the emergency room. But when paramedics arrived at the jail, the jail’s supervisor, Sgt. Willie Epps, would not allow Scott to leave. Paramedics attempted to get Scott out of his jail cell twice, but they were denied both times.

Nearly 15 minutes later, jail officials had to call an ambulance again because he fell unconscious. The EMT reported that Scott may have experienced possible brain damage.

Scott was in a coma for 11 days and stayed in the hospital for three weeks. Police claimed Scott attempted to hang himself, but Scott, who eventually regained consciousness, said that he would not kill himself for being in jail on traffic tickets.

An investigation has been launched. However, the person who was placed in charge of the investigation is Sgt. Willie Epps. That’s right, the same guy who blocked Scott from being taken from the jail is leading the investigation.

It’s another case of overt corruption by police officers and jail officials. Last month, Michael Robinson, 33, of Missouri was found dead in his cell after being denied insulin for his diabetic condition. Robinson was in jail for failure to pay child support.

In July, Sandra Bland was arrested on a traffic violation and later found dead in her cell.

Abuse and neglect by the hands of law enforcement continues to be a national issue. The federal government must do more to ensure local police departments are held accountable for their actions.

A.R. Shaw
A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.

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