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Video: Hear Christopher Lopez's jailers joke and laugh while he slowly dies

Categories: News, Prison Life

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Christopher Lopez during some of his final moments. Warning: The video and photos below may disturb some readers.
Update: Last week, we told you about a lawsuit accusing Colorado Department of Corrections personnel with allowing mentally ill inmate Christopher Lopez to die while they watched; see our previous coverage below.

Now, attorney David Lane has released a 47 minute video that compiles shocking footage from Lopez's final hours. Be warned that some readers may find the images disturbing.

Lane's office has released a slew of family snapshots featuring Lopez as a way of emphasizing that he was a real person with real loved ones, as opposed to a mere statistic. Here are pics of him as an infant....

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...an older child....

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...and a young father.

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Despite these happy photos, Lopez lived a troubled life marked by mental illness and incarceration. He's said to have been diagnosed as a schizophrenic after a 2005 incident while in Weld County jail during which he believed he was Jesus Christ. By 2007, he'd earned a two-year prison sentence for assault that was extended by an additional four years after he assaulted a corrections officer.

While in stir at the San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo, Lopez had periods during which he was capable of artistic expression, as seen in these illustrations created for his mom:

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But on March 15, 2013, he suffered a health crisis triggered by a sodium deficiency -- a possible reaction to the psychotropic medication he was taking.

The fatal progression of Lopez's deterioration and death is detailed in our original post and the aforementioned lawsuit, seen below in its entirety. But it's graphically depicted in the video, which makes for harrowing viewing.

One key sequence takes place around the 40:45 minute mark, when Lopez is lying shackled and semi-conscious on concrete flooring near a toilet.

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Christopher Lopez on the bathroom floor.
In the sequence, a female supervisor can be heard arriving and greeting correctional officers on duty.

"What's he doing now?" she asks

"Smells like he peed all over the place," a man replies.

A few seconds later, the supervisor introduces herself to Lopez and asks, "What are you doing? What are you doing? Why are you doing this? I can see you breathing. What's wrong? Open your eyes."

Lopez manages to perform this last task, but barely -- and that seems to satisfy those watching him. The conversation continues like so:

"Is he still on the floor?"

"Yeah."

"He likes it on the floor."

"I like him on the floor."

"Yeah, he likes it alright when he's on the floor."

This line prompts a laugh, after which the supervisor remarks, "Isn't that terrible?"

That's one way of putting it. Here's the video, followed by our previous coverage.

Continue for more about the Christopher Lopez lawsuit, including more photos and the complete document.



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281 comments
danfazekas
danfazekas

I am a nurse. I have sat through many deaths as a long term care nurse of 20+ years. I am the Director of a Nursing Home that takes in patients that suffer primarily from mental illness. I am also a legal nurse consultant. This is appalling. All of the individuals in this situation should be brought to trial. This man's constitutional rights were violated, primarily the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment. Counts of non-medical professionals and LPNs making a medical diagnosis is just one things they should be charged with. Allowing someone lie on the floor seizing and equating in urination as a the main symptom of a seizure is just an excuse for fear and laziness. The supervisor making the comment that she see's him breathing, and then questioning it shows how unprofessional this is. None of these people have an ounce of compassion. These people are not god-like beings who can be allowed to determine who is faking and who is not when a medical condition is present. They needed education to understand how schizophrenia works, and the conditions that the medications or lack of medications can lead to. Additionally, the corrections system in Colorado deserves more than a 3 million dollar smack down on this. They have failed the people of the state that they are to be taking care of, including those behind bars. There are police officers and medical professionals out there that are working in similar places that are truly competent. The blame in the end also goes on the person who hired and claimed to believe these individuals were competent enough to monitor the safety and lives off others, criminals or not. The hiring agent/HR person should also be charged for lack of education and training. 

hmr7
hmr7

They killed that man.  All of them.  I've never seen anyone laugh giving CPR.  They waited for that man to give his last breath and that crappy LPN checking his pulse just to see if there was enough to wheel his dead body up to give it CPR.  May they all be housed behind bars for murder.

www.michaellopez93
www.michaellopez93

For all the officers involved carma's a bitch , I hope that maybe someday the officers involved will find them self someday in a spot like Chris's or even better maybe it might be one of your children you know life has away of coming back an butting you in the ass , Chris god rest your soul were all gods kids .

rhiannonedge
rhiannonedge

sodium defiency can lead to brain swelling.... a swollen brain has nowhere to go but down through the neck hole....squeezing the brain on the way out destroying it which causes the heart to stop and the lungs to cease breathing.  

gabemgonz
gabemgonz

this is my cuzn chris nd justice will b serviced! 22 officers invaled and 5 fired nd 5 punished so far.. they murder my cuzn nd r not getting away w it!!!! rip cuz...

gabemgonz
gabemgonz

this is my cuzn nd justice will b served.. 22 officers invaled 5 fired nd 5 punished so far

judhug
judhug

I looked on the board of nursing website.  How come those nurses have not been disiplined by the state? why do they still have their license to allow others to die at their hands? and that mental health worker just got her hands slapped and can continue to do her excellent job for the mentally ill in our state. 


Hickenlooper portrays he is supportive of treating our mentally ill - is this the treatment he is proposing? He has been noticeably silent regarding the conduct of his state departments....

nans11
nans11

Talk about ignorance!!!!  They couldn't see that this man needed medical attention?  My 10 year old Granddaughter would realize that!  They murdered this man!

rousefred
rousefred

Have any of these people been charged with anything?

Avery Bills
Avery Bills

I don't think I've ever been so angry...

Ruby Rios
Ruby Rios

Regardless of how dangerous he could have been, he should of received help since the very beggining, Sick how all those cops and nurses just watched him suffer nd slowly die for all that time! They all deserve to get punished!

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones

The "human being" qualifier in my comment serves to point out that it's a foregone conclusion that only a cartoonish villain or a psychopath in training or more would neglect a rabbit, horse, dog, you get the picture, slowly dying in its piss.

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones

You can tell how much this resonates by how little trolling and hatred is being spewed in the comments. Someone said "a society can best be judged by how it treats its prisoners" and another dude said "what you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me." No human being deserved to be neglected to death so callously let alone this mentally ill patient living in the abject terror of being in a constant struggle with your concept of reality and self. The corollary to the quotes above is "take a look at countries that deliberately mistreat prisons and the mentally ill and I will show you a place you never want to live."

lalala65628
lalala65628

as someone who has been in jail i know from experience that jailers dont give a shit about anything. they are fat worthless bastards who will take their sweet time to get medical in if you are having problems. i have had to yell at them to help somene else. I hate all of them equally.

Benjamin Howard Brockway
Benjamin Howard Brockway

Over 40% of married cops abuse their spouse. Not all are corrupt, but the majority are pieces of shit. You should encourage your husband to quit the mob

Charles Cusumano
Charles Cusumano

Comment from an emergency medicine physician assistant: had blood around nose and mouth; hyperventilating: suspect he had seizure in bunk, fell off hitting face and head on floor: may then have had a brain bleed. Clearly seizing in status way. Just a best guess based on what I saw on vid. Of course there are other possibilities but allowing untrained medical people to decide that he was willfully not cooperating is very bad.

Cathey Shaw
Cathey Shaw

As a nurse it was clear he was seizing the entire time . This could have prevented . They knew it and could have cared less , it was just one inmate they wanted gone , God knows what was in that injection , as a Coloradan I'm ashamed

Freddie Muniz
Freddie Muniz

And this is how they Continue to protect and serve!!!!! What a joke!

Laura Mooney
Laura Mooney

This is so sad, disturbing and utterly reprehensible.

Kendra Bell
Kendra Bell

NOT SHOCKING, but extremely disturbing! Sick. Police brutality is so common, it just doesn't shock me at all. Pure evil.

Steve Gitz
Steve Gitz

The cops should be fired but nobody should be getting rich from the poor taxpayers. They're lucky to be rid of him.

Edward Martin
Edward Martin

Pathetic. You would not watch an animal go through this and do nothing but you will watch a human being die? I watched the whole video and would have called 911 early on. You all should be ashamed but that won't bring him back.

Amannda Marie
Amannda Marie

This is so sad and disturbing. My condolences to the family.

Johanna Lorraine
Johanna Lorraine

I could only make it in less then 15 minutes. My heart hurts for Lopez and his family! Every one on those, so what they call them selves, officers. Should be held accountable for this. Shame on you Colorado. The first official time I have looked down on Colorado. And that hurts. Fucking assholes!! I can't believe they took video. AHH!!

Jeffery Joiner
Jeffery Joiner

How fucking long did he lay there gasping for his last breath. I couldn't imagine that feeling while assholes stand by and make jokes. Of course these fuckers won't be charged will they. Burn in hell pigs. I only hope that one day you lay shackled gasping for your last breath.

Rebecca Whitmore
Rebecca Whitmore

This is a major reason I don't work in corrections anymore

wandasmith0619
wandasmith0619

@nans11  They didn't CARE, so therefore they didn't look in on him to see how he was doing. If you watched the VIDEO, then you can see that none of them looked in the cell to see anything! This is "MURDER" plaine and simple. One guard said," IDON'T CARE IF HE SWOLLOWS HIS TEETH". Now --WHAT TYPE OF PERSON DOES AND SAYS THINGS LIKE THAT ABOUT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING!!??

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