Tulsa judge releases video of inmate's death at Tulsa jail


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Reported by: Ian Silver
Updated: 7/02/2013 8:15 pm Published: 7/02/2013 4:36 pm


A Tulsa judge allowed the release of a video showing a man dying over a 51-hour period inside a Tulsa County jail cell.

The video shows Elliott Williams dying of dehydration in October 2011. His family is now suing the jail.

Williams was brought to the jail by Owasso police after becoming suicidal. At some point he broke his neck inside the jail and became paralyzed, but the medical staff thought he was faking.

They put him in a video-monitored cell to prove it, but instead he died.

The released video is an edited version of a 51-hour span of time, it is cut down to 10 minutes and 23 seconds.

It begins with the jail's medical staff dragging Williams on a blanket into the cell, completely naked, and leaving him on the floor.

The only movement Williams makes through the entire video is with his right arm.

He tries to grab a cup of water unsuccessfully and attempts to grab food off a tray, but is unable to unwrap it and ends up knocking over the cup of water.

The video goes on to show staff leaving another tray of food next to Williams and later dropping a third tray in through a slot in the cell door.

After two whole days of Williams lying on the floor without eating, drinking or moving, the video shows members of the jail's medical staff entering the cell and checking Williams' feet for a response, and then leaving.

More than two hours later, they return to begin CPR.

Minutes later, the video shows jail personnel pull the blanket out from under Williams, rolling his body over to face down.

Less than 20 minutes after that, Tulsa firefighters enter the cell and make another attempt at CPR, until Williams is pronounced dead.

FOX23 asked officials with the jail for comment on the video and lawsuit and got the following response:

"The death was an unfortunate event in the Tulsa County Jail. On the advice of counsel we are unable to comment on current litigation. We look forward to defending this case in court at the appropriate time."

Williams' family is suing the jail and the jail medical-care provider over the lack of care for Williams.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Unwashed Mass - 2/6/2014 1:33 PM
1 Vote
The moss jail is in dire need of federal oversight. Too many people die from "natural" causes like heart attacks (easy to drug) and there's no real accountability.

t town253 - 7/3/2013 1:04 PM
1 Vote
So crazy. The man was already on suicide watch....and they thought he was faking when he broke his own neck? Wow.......just wow. I hope the family is compensated some kind of way and the employees are held to the highest accountability.

Unwashed Mass - 7/3/2013 10:24 AM
1 Vote
The Felony Murder statute should apply, since he died as a result of the commission of a crime. Fat chance the police unions will allow that, though.

Mayor Maynot - 7/2/2013 10:57 PM
1 Vote
TCSO is skating around this one. The health care provider for that facility will take it on the nose for that incident. Better to err on the side of caution Those candy stripers should have called 911 a lot sooner than they did. That'll cost them.

Bigcat - 7/2/2013 5:44 PM
2 Votes
Impeach Sheriff Stanley Glanz
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