Covering Louisiana

Jun 15, 2014 10:26 PM by AP

Lawsuit claims jailer misconduct in inmate death

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The family of an inmate who died after a jailhouse fight has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office.

The lawsuit alleges that deputies used pepper spray on 40-year-old Willie Lee after he complained about chest pains and trouble breathing. It also alleges that the deputies beat and kicked him before his death in March.

Nola.comThe Times-Picayune reports that another inmate wrote Lee's family, saying jail staff did not call paramedics until more than an hour after Lee collapsed.

Sheriff Gusman's office says video proves that the allegations are false. Spokesman Phil Stelly calls the letter a complete fabrication.

The news organization says it requested copies of video recordings, reports and photos in the case but had not received a response by Friday afternoon.




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