The family of a woman who died after her custody at Maricopa County Jail is suing the office of the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio, alleging authorities neglected her and deprived her of necessary medications for days, allowing her to slip into a diabetic coma.
The local ABC affiliate reports on the circumstances that led to Deborah Braillard’s death, after she was detained for a minor drug possession charge:
Witness[es] said that Deborah was constantly moaning and crying out in pain, asking for help, repeatedly vomiting, defecating on herself and having seizures.
“She would shake. Her body would stiffen up,” said Tamela Harper, an inmate in the jail with Braillard. “They never did anything to help her.”
Inmates said they begged officers to do something.
“They were telling everyone, ‘There’s nothing we can do about it. This is jail. Get over it,”’ Harper said.
Harper added that officers said Braillard was “kicking drugs” and that she was “getting what she deserved.”
Medical reports would later prove the guards were wrong.
As the trial begins, ABC15 Arizona says a series of reports will “shed light on what experts call a broken system inside Maricopa County jails that has led to needless deaths and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars paid out in lawsuits.” The family’s lawyer, Michael Manning, has won six other lawsuits against the Sheriff’s Office for jail-related deaths, and calls conditions there “deplorable.”
And Arpaio faces several lawsuits alleging racial profiling, including one on behalf of a class of Latinos, and another by the Department of Justice, which alleges a slate of grievous practices targeting Latinos, from assaulting pregnant women and ignoring rape, to random, unlawful detention of Latinos and use of racial slurs.