Police said he faked injury, report proves Black inmate died from dog bite

Photo credit: Orange County (Florida) Jail

Another Black person has died while in police custody. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the incident occurred at the Orange County Jail.

Max Gracia, 22, was arrested on Aug. 6, 2015, and facing charges of robbery. During his arrest, Orlando police officers allowed their K-9 police dog to attack Gracia. The dog eventually caught Gracia and bit him on the leg. But instead of taking Gracia to the hospital for treatment, police officers placed him in the jail cell.

Hours after being placed in the jail cell, Gracia told authorities that he felt sick and was in pain from the dog bite. He fell to floor of the cell and authorities told him to get up. But instead of helping Gracia, officer Arnulfo Vargas accused the inmate of “faking it.”

Gracia continued to lay on the floor and moaned for hours, but Vargas and nurse Karen Clairmont refused to give him medical attention. The next day, he was found in his cell unresponsive. He was eventually died from an E. coli infection that occurred after being bitten by the dog.

Garcia’s death sheds light on how police negligence has caused Black people to lose their lives while in custody. One month before Gracia died, Sandra Bland was found dead in her cell after being stopped by an officer in Waller County, Texas, for a routine traffic stop.

An internal review of Gracia’s death was recently released and it was discovered that authorities in the jail fell short of medical-care standards.

Clairmont resigned from her position, but no one has been arrested for Gracia’s death.

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