Family Files Lawsuit Accusing Jail Of Letting Man ‘Waste Away’
The family of Larry Price Jr. is seeking justice after he passed away at a west Arkansas county jail while awaiting trial.
Larry Price Jr. Was Detained Over A Finger Gun Gesture
Larry died back in August 2021 while incarcerated at a Sebastian County facility on a “terroristic threatening charge,” Fox News reports.
More specifically, this charge is related to Larry—who was homeless at the time and is described as having a history of mental illness—walking into the Fort Smith Police Department and pointing a finger gun at officers.
As a result, Larry was detained and placed in custody for a little over a year, and he was ultimately housed in solitary confinement until he eventually passed away from malnutrition and dehydration.
Lawsuit Accuses Authorities Of Callously Letting Larry ‘Waste Away’
This past Friday, Larry’s family filed a lawsuit and accused the jail of not taking appropriate action to save his life.
In the lawsuit, the family specifically alleges that—after Larry refused to take his required medication—the facility simply discontinued treatment and stopped addressing his mental health needs. In turn, the family says Larry’s health was allowed to deteriorate until his weight dwindled down from 185 to 90 pounds.
It was also alleged that “security staff watched him waste away” while being “apathetic to his life-threatening medical and mental health needs.”
“Larry Price suffered in the tortured throes of his untreated mental disorder for months on end as jail healthcare and security staff watched him waste away—apathetic to his life-threatening medical and mental health needs and to the cruelty of his confinement.”
Additionally, the lawsuit called attention to issues of overcrowding and understaffing, which had reportedly been documented in past inspections.
In response to the lawsuit, Sebastian County Judge Steve Hotz notes that an internal review is being conducted. He also noted, “The county places a high priority on the safety of every person in our jail. We have medical personnel available to treat inmates in need of care.”
Olan C. James III, president of the Sebastian County NAACP Branch, also addressed the matter, according to the Southwest Times Record.
“The Sebastian County NAACP Branch was made aware of the death of Mr. Price shortly after it occurred. Our hope is that the Price family will receive the answers it so richly deserves on the circumstances surrounding the death of their loved one.”
What do you think about the situation?