Man freezes to death in police custody

Last month, Anthony “Tony” Mitchell, 33, was arrested in Carbon Hill, Alabama and taken into custody. His family has since filed a lawsuit claiming “jail abuse” after the man died of hypothermia not long afterward.

Apparently, deputies had been called to Mitchell’s family residence because he was behaving erratically and had fired a handgun in their direction before he managed to flee the scene. He was then taken to Walker County Jail and charged with attempted murder.

Just two weeks later, Mitchell was rushed to Walker Baptist Medical Center for “further evaluation” after a “routine medical check.” While there, he had a “medical emergency” and became unresponsive, and despite medical teams attempting to “revive” him, he passed away.

The statement from the sheriff’s office claimed that Mitchell was “alert” and “conscious” when he left the facility, however, footage leaked by a former corrections officer showed that he was apathetic and barely moved when four jail officials carried him into a loading bay and placed him in the back seat of a squad car.

The family has since filed a lawsuit, noting that a physician from WBMC wrote that hypothermia was the likely cause of death. They allege that jail officials may have restrained Mitchell in a chair, placed him in a frigid environment for hours, and stripped him naked and placed him in a concrete isolation cell.

Karen Kelly, the correctional officer who leaked the footage, has also filed a suit claiming she was fired in retaliation for releasing the video. Her goal was simply to “share the truth.”

The county medical examiner has not yet issued an official cause of death, leaving the family to demand answers: “How does a man literally freeze to death while incarcerated in a modern, climate-controlled jail in the custody and care of corrections officers?”