Prison Abuse Leaves Man in persistent vegetative state (PVS)
Mon, November 17, 2008 3:20:50 PM
Domainquie Butler [Chat now]
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Inmate abuse cases lead to FBI inquiry and Civil rights violation investigation

On Sept. 18th our family was called by other inmates at McNeil Island

Corrections to inform us that Leon was being air lifted off the island

for medical reasons. We immediately started calling to see what had

happened? In a panic and search for answers on what condition Leon was

in we as a family was left in the dark by DOC.

In our opinion if there was no "cover up" being done what policy would it be to leave a panic family in the dark of their loved ones conditions. We can account for at least 5 different family members calling up to McNeil in concern of Leon's well being with no help provided to anyone. Even though we are all in different state we had his wife Rene Matthews calling for answers as she was local. And she was given the same run around. DOC was not doing anything to let us know that Leon was getting the proper care or even if he was being cared for at all. As the time passed and we started to get information from the hospital still nothing from DOC. We learned of his state of being “brain dead” due to lack of oxygen for a sustained period of time. Only then did letters and called for other inmates at McNeil start to shed some light on the condition Leon was last seen in at the corrections hand.

One inmate accounts in detail what he saw through a letter and would like to remain nameless if possible but would stand behind what he saw DOC “lack of urgency” in assisting Leon during the emergency situation. He accounts that they heard the helicopter turned on then off. He saw the ambulance workers slowly walking to attend to Leon. He also saw Leon sitting up even at the time as the guards were all saying he was “dead”. Now if they are “pronouncing” him dead is that how DOC handles a person propping them up for all to see instead of respectfully laying him down and covering him. And if they had already said he was dead that means Leon started his fight to live amongst the very people that don’t want us to know what truly happened to him. As his family we don’t know if they really tried to save him but once we started calling around 11:45 – 12noon PST they finally decided to take him off the island to receive proper care. It is our belief if DOC would have taken him out for medical care immediately instead of sitting out for all the prison to see… he wouldn’t be in the condition he is in now.

Two weeks after the occurrence DOC finally sent a statement to our family and is quoted below as to why they didn’t give information on Leon to our family calling. But not once have they given us the details the inmate gave us as to how they even handled the emergency call and care for Leon on the island. We have and his Attorney McCloud of Seattle, WA has requested release of the accounts of what happened leading and during the events that have Leon in the hospital. We have yet to see the event log with times and actions taken by DOC.

With still no answers from DOC as to what really happened our family is beyond frustrated. At this point we are asking the Governor and Clemency board for a “FULL PARDON” for Leon. We don’t trust that if he has a recovery from this trauma that he will be safe to be in any DOC facility. We are asking that DOC be responsible for all Leon’s medical needs and care for the rest of his life as this happened to him in their care. We are also asking that they release full details as to what truly happened to Leon while at MICC on the morning of Sept. 18th 2008. Considering what Leon has been through at only 31 years young we don’t believe as his family this is too much to ask. Leon is an important part of our family and no matter while in DOC custody he was still valued to us and a needed part of our family. Do to the mishandling of a trauma situation DOC has left us with a missing part of our lives and we have to watch now our beloved Leon fight to get back to us yet again because of DOC. We are not naive to the facts that got Leon to DOC but we are not going to allow that to be the reason he was treated without regards to his value to us during the time DOC could have gotten him to proper medical care in a timely manner on Sept. 18th 2008.