Huffpost Politics

If You Have Nothing To Hide, Don't Have A Stroke In The State Of Florida

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STROKEVICTIM
Hillsborough County Jail

A truly awful incident in Florida:

Allen Daniel Hicks Sr., 51, was found stopped in his car on the side of Interstate 275 by a sheriff's deputy and a Florida Highway Patrol trooper the morning of May 11, 2012. Passers-by had called 911 after they saw Hicks' Chevy Cavalier swerving west into a guardrail, records of the incident show.

Speaking incoherently and unable to move his left arm, Hicks was arrested on a charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer when he did not respond to commands to exit his car. Just after noon, he was booked into the Orient Road Jail.

Hicks did not receive a medical screening, but was put in a cell where he lay facedown on the floor or tried to crawl using the one working side of his body. On the night of May 12, soaked in his own urine, his brain choked of blood, he was at last taken to Tampa General Hospital and diagnosed with an ischemic stroke. He slipped into a coma and died within three months.

Hicks' family just received a $1 million settlement from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the private company that provides medical service for the jail's inmates. The case touches on a couple of ongoing problems in law enforcement, including neglect, abuse, and inadequate medical treatment in local jails, and poor training for police in recognizing and accomodating medical conditions like stroke and diabetic shock.

HuffPost investigative reporter Radley Balko is author of the new book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces.

Filed by Radley Balko