Friday, December 23, 2011

Florida cops cleared after pepper-spraying prisoner to death

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Nicholas Christie (62), strapped to chair, naked, gagged, dripping with pepper-spray at Florida’s Lee County Jail
Nick Christie’s final moments
[source | full size (310×221)]

Another sterling example showing how no matter how excessively cruel cops can be, they can usually count on their higher-ups to clear them from facing any sort of accountability. An Ohio man was vacationing in Florida when he was arrested for causing a drunken disturbance at his hotel. Whatever happened next left him strapped naked to a chair for hours, gagged, and doused in pepper spray until his heart gave out:

A picture of 62-year-old Nick Christie could be worth thousands of dollars when a jury sees it.

The photo shows the Ohio man restrained inside the Lee County Jail with his body covered in pepper spray.

"This photo is a picture of a man who is strapped to a chair naked inside a jail for hours with a hood over his face. That evokes thoughts of being tortured," says Cleveland-based lawyer Nick DiCello who represents the Christie family.

The photo, which was obtained by FOX 13's investigative unit, was taken in the final hours of Christie's life.

The District 21 Medical Examiner ruled his death was a homicide because he had been restrained and sprayed with pepper sprayed by law enforcement officers. But to this day, nobody has ever been charged with a crime, and the Lee County State Attorney cleared the sheriff's office of any wrong doing.

So, hosing a medically compromised man in enough pepper spray to drown an elephant and leaving him strapped naked to a chair for hours until he dies is still not enough of an abuse to warrant any sort of disciplinary action from Lee County officials.

Must be nice, having a badge that enables one to get away with virtually anything – up to and including wanton murder – with complete impunity.

(via @radleybalko)