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

Categories: News, Prison Life

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Christopher Lopez in the minutes before his death. Warning: The photos below may be disturbing to some readers.
Original post, 8:50 a.m. June 20: When Christopher Lopez lost his life in a Pueblo-area jail in March 2013, few beyond his immediate family knew of his passing. Now, however, Lopez's final moments are at the center of a lawsuit that accuses numerous supervisors and employees working for the Colorado Department of Corrections with extreme neglect and callousness for allegedly failing to get him much needed medical help and standing by as he died.

Attorney David Lane tells us the shocking story. Warning: The images below may disturb some readers.

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The San Carlos Correctional Facility in Pueblo.
The suit is included below in its entirety. But here's the dramatic introduction:
On March 17, 2013, in full view of most of the Defendants, a shackled and stripped Christopher Lopez died alone and ignored, on the cold concrete floor of a cell at the San Carlos Correctional Facility. His death could have been easily prevented by most of the defendants had any one of them simply picked up a phone and called for medical help. Instead, the Defendants, all employees of the Colorado Department of Corrections, ultimately made what could pass as a documentary film on how to ignore the obvious and serious medical needs of a dying prisoner for hours until the very last breath of life leaves his body.
Lane believes authorities will have a difficult time refuting the facts as presented in the lawsuit, given that "the whole thing is on high-quality, made-for-TV video.

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An image from a San Carlos video showing Lopez lying on the floor of his cell.
"The first video shows Christopher Lopez lying face down on the floor of his cell, naked from the waist up, and the staff is yelling in the cuff slot" -- the slot in the cell door through which prisoners can extend their hands in order to be handcuffed. "They're saying, 'Come to the slot and cuff up or we're not going to help you with your medical issue.' But you can see Lopez is virtually unconscious. He's trying to lift his head but he's not strong enough to do it.

"Then they gear up the force team" -- personnel assigned to forcibly extract an inmate from his cell -- "and go in. But first, they talk about pepper-spraying him because he's not complying with their demands, even though some low-level guard says he has a medical issue. The only reason they don't pepper-spray him is because they're short-staffed.

"Their reports about this are all part of the cover up," Lane contends. "They say, 'He disobeyed our order' to make it seem like he was obstreperous when he was actually almost unconscious."

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Lopez strapped to a restraint chair with a spit hood over his face.
Once inside the cell, Lane continues, staffers "put Lopez in a restraint chair with a belly chain and his wrists shackled to the belly chain, and put a spit hood over him even though he wasn't doing anything.

"If he was disobeying their orders, it was because he was 95 percent dead at this point."

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

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270 comments
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

Chelsea DeWitt
Chelsea DeWitt

Unprofessional law enforcement and nurse staff. A life is worth saving, criminal or not. I'm disgusted

anthonycostantino131
anthonycostantino131

Just as some background, our nation no longer has enough strength to involuntarily commit someone and force them to take their medication. In the 70s, the ACLU, among other groups, began to challenge the govt's right to force individuals to accept treatment for mental illness, so the govt passed the Lanterman Petris Short Act which gave much more freedom and self-determination to mentally ill individuals. You can no longer force them to do anything unless it's a truly grave, temporary situation, so now they go in and out of jails to get their treatment, then fall off the wagon and repeat the cycle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanterman%E2%80%93Petris%E2%80%93Short_Act

Ellen Ross Dean
Ellen Ross Dean

It's horrible how this country treats people with mental health issues.

Randall William
Randall William

It's sad how fucked up people treat people. He may have been a criminal. But he needed help. And they did nothing to help him! I hope cdoc losses the court battle.

Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

Oh they laughed and tormented her for about 5 hours. Horifically inhumane and evil. How can we pay people tax dollars to act like this?

Deborah Watts
Deborah Watts

I watched Mazzotti and other City of Denver Sheriff TORMENT a mentally handicapped inmate. To the point she was in a rage hitting her head on the door window that she bloodied.

Diana Hudson
Diana Hudson

This is horrible. Prisons need to be accountable for their actions

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