Detroit Cop and Two Paramedics Charged in Death of Inmate, $3.75 Million Lawsuit
DETROIT - Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy announced Monday there will be charges connected to the death of a man while he was in police custody in the Westland County Jail.
The victim's family has already reached a $3.75 million settlement with the city of Westland.
Westland Sgt. Ronald Buckley and two paramedics were charged Monday, nearly 10 months after the death of inmate William Marshall.
ABC 27 News reports the three suspects stood and watched Marshall die in a jail cell as he was convulsing on the floor from ingesting cocaine.
The paramedics charged in this case are Matt Dicosola and Leah Maynard -- all three suspects face charges of involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office.
On December 10, 2017, at 6:28 a.m., Marshall was arrested for cocaine and marijuana possession during a traffic stop. At the time of his arrest, he was observed to have a white powdered substance on the side of his mouth, but claimed it was a donut.
While in the presence of the arresting officers, Marshall spoke and walked normally. At 6:39 a.m. he was taken into the Westland jail for booking; the inside of his mouth was swabbed for the presence of drugs.
Initially Marshall did not report any medical issues and appeared to be in good health. At approximately 7:51 a.m., Marshall began convulsing, having muscle spasms and was unable to walk. Marshall and the other inmates in his cell asked jail personnel for help. Sgt. Buckley, the watch commander for the jail, called EMS.
Westland Paramedics Dicosola and Maynard were dispatched to the jail and arrived at 8:01 a.m.
It was then that Sgt. Buckley and the paramedics observed Marshall on the cell floor at 8:02 a.m. At this time they saw Marshall convulsing, telling them he was having a seizure, and asking for help.
Marshall was then dragged from the cell into a hallway. But neither of the paramedics took vital signs for Marshall, performed a medical assessment, or medically intervened in any manner as they watched Marshall on the floor, in distress, repeatedly requesting their help.
At 8:07 a.m., Marshall was placed back in the jail cell while convulsing. Despite observing Marshall in distress, Sgt. Buckley determined that Marshall should remain in jail and dismissed the paramedics at 8:10 a.m.
Sgt. Buckley failed to seek medical attention for Mr. Marshall when he left the cell area at approximately 8:30 a.m.
Marshall continued to convulse after being placed back in the cell, although the force and frequency of the convulsions diminished over time. At 9:17 a.m., Marshall was motionless. At 9:27 a.m., Sgt. Buckley observed Marshall not moving and he had another officer check his pulse and drag him into the hallway where they administered CPR and used a defibrillator.
At approximately 9:39 a.m., paramedics returned to the jail. At 9:41 a.m., Marshall was transported from the jail to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Marshall’s cause of death was determined to be from cocaine toxicity.
Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik issued the following statement in response to the charges of Sgt. Buckley:
> The charges today against the City of Westland police officer are taken seriously by the department and the City administration. The officer charged today has been suspended pending the Departmental investigation and discipline. We will provide the police union the necessary notice of our intention to conduct and finalize our investigation into this matter.
> After the investigation, we will take the necessary discipline up to and including termination of the officer.
> The Westland Police Department has implemented changes to department’s policies and procedures regarding prisoner incarceration. The Department has provided additional training to its employees and will continue to do so to ensure that something like this never happens again.