Video: Employees joke as man suffers withdrawal symptoms; family sues jail
MILWAUKIE, Ore. – The family of an Army veteran who died after suffering a severe drug withdrawal is suing Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputies and medical staff at the county jail.
Sheriff Craig Roberts released a video Thursday showing staff laughing as they recorded Bryan Perry in his cell on Nov. 11, 2016.
In the video, Perry is seen thrashing and moaning. He was later taken to a hospital where he died.
His family says deputies and medical staff from Corizon Health failed to properly treat him.
Roberts says one deputy involved resigned and the others have been disciplined.
In a statement, Roberts said, “The laughter, substance, and tone of several comments heard from my employees in that video were inappropriate, and do not conform to our professional standards.”
Roberts said compassionate treatment of those suffering from addiction or mental health issues is a cornerstone of their agency.
The American Civil Liberties Union says the video highlights the problems with the state's jails.
"Sometimes the jails outsource the medical care to private for-profit companies," said Kelly Simon, a staff attorney with the ACLU. "It shouldn't be a surprise to us that corners are going to get cut and human lives are going to be impacted by that."
Simon says it's vital that Oregon increase the standards it sets around for healthcare in its prisons and jails.
"Everybody who goes to jail has the right to medical care regardless of their worst mistake or their worst day," Simon said.
In a statement to KATU News, Corizon Health declined to comment on the lawsuit or the incident, citing patient privacy laws.