Posted BY: Kara | NwoReport
The family of a man who starved to death in an Arkansas jail because he was unable to pay his $100 bail has sued after his medication was taken away and he had to eat his own feces.
Larry Eugene Price Jr., 51, died at the Sebastian County Detention Center in August 2021, after being held for a little over a year at the facility awaiting trial on a terroristic threatening charge, a felony.
Price, who had a history of serious mental illness – including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – had been held in solitary confinement at the county facility, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit against Sebastian County accused the jail and its medical provider of neglecting Price as he ate and drank less over the course of a year and his weight dropped from 185 pounds to 90 pounds.
Jail staff also discontinued Price’s mental health medications after he refused to take them, the lawsuit said, and didn’t make any effort to follow up with the inmate to address his mental health needs.
Price was arrested in August 2020 after he walked into the Fort Smith Police Department and threatened officers while pointing his finger as if she were pulling an imaginary trigger, the lawsuit said. Price, who also had a developmental disability, was homeless at the time of his arrest and had no real weapon.
He was found in his cell with his eyes wide open, naked, with dried saliva on his mouth, and in a pool of standing water. He had reportedly taken to eating his own feces and drinking his urine prior to this death, according to Newsweek.
Even after his death, the jail continued to mark Price and his cell as ‘okay,’ Newsweek reported.
‘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,’ the lawsuit said.
‘I was appalled – a developmentally disabled, mentally ill man, who couldn’t afford his low bail amount, was held in solitary confinement for a year,’ Attorney Erik Heipt told Newsweek. ‘He was not serving a sentence. He was awaiting trial the whole time — for a crime that he wasn’t mentally capable of committing.