Two Texas Jailers Indicted In Death Of Inmate Who Was Pepper Sprayed


Two Arlington, Tx., jailers who were on duty in March when an inmate collapsed in jail were indicted on one charge each of criminally negligent homicide, reports the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Physical restraints and the use of pepper spray played a significant role in the death of the inmate, Jonathan Paul, 42, according to an autopsy report. The jailers, employees of the Arlington Police Department, were identified as Pedro Medina, 33, and Steve Schmidt, 57.

Paul was arrested on outstanding warrants by Arlington officers who were responding to a disturbance call. At some point he began to be disruptive, and physical restraints and pepper spray were used to subdue him. “This has been a difficult case for our community,” said Police Chief Will Johnson. “We promised a thorough and vigorous investigation into this matter. Now that the grand jury proceeding has concluded, we are eager to finalize the administrative case and present the findings of the investigation to the family and our community.” The family sued the city in federal court, saying that when Arlington officials became aware of Paul's medical problems, they were deliberately indifferent to his needs and denied him the medical care that might have saved his life.

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