Lawyers of a Black Texas man and civil rights activists are calling for justice after he was allegedly grabbed and slammed on to concrete ground by police officers at a jail in Beaumont, Texas, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
On Wednesday, lawyers of 41-year-old Christopher Shaw hosted a press conference that called for justice for Shaw, who was severely injured while in custody in June 2021.
According to a lawsuit filed last month, Shaw was arrested on 12 June 2021 over misdemeanor public intoxication charges after Beaumont police officer James Gillen found him standing in the middle of a roadway, “in need of medical assistance”. Shaw was then taken to a hospital to be evaluated before being transported to Jefferson county correctional facility in Beaumont where he was restrained for “noncompliance”.
“Before entering the facility, Mr Shaw slightly turned his body. Defendant Gillen responded by attempting to slam Mr Shaw to the concrete platform at the rear entrance of the facility,” the lawsuit said.
He landed on his head and fractured his spine in multiple places, the lawsuit alleges. Shaw asked for help from jail staff and employees of the jail’s medical contractor CorrHealth but they refused to help him, according to the lawsuit. When Shaw asked one nurse for assistance, she allegedly told him, “I won’t help you until you help yourself.”
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SOURCE: The Guardian, Maya Yang