Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dead In Her Cell

I think sometimes people forget that those who are incarcerated are still human beings who deserve to be treated as such. If not for the grace of God it could be any one of us. We are all someone's mother, father, sister, brother, or child, and we all deservie mercy.

A 37-year-old woman died in a crowded cell at the Central Booking Jail in Brooklyn last July as inmates’ pleas for help were ignored for hours by cops, a witness told the media.

The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating the early morning death of Kyam Livingston, who was dead for 20 minutes before EMS arrived, a fellow prisoner said.

“It’s not right for somebody to beg and plead for hours to get help,” Livingston’s son, Alex, 21, told The News. “Who knows how much pain she was going through.”

NYPD officials said Livingston was pronounced dead at Brooklyn Hospital Center. They declined further comment. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Fellow inmate Aleah Holland, 38, a registered nurse, told The News that Livingston died needlessly. Police at Central Booking ignored her complaints of stomach pains and diarrhea, Holland said. She said that when she and other inmates banged on the bars calling for help, officers told them Livingston was an alcoholic.

“They said, ‘Shut up before we lose your paper work and you won’t be seen by a judge,’ ” said Holland, who was jailed on an assault charge stemming from a fight with a roommate.

Livingston was arrested for violating an order of protection taken out by Theresa Johnson, her 78-year-old grandmother.

Johnson said she called the cops after Livingston, who lived with her in Windsor Terrace, drank a bottle of vodka and turned violent, breaking two TV remote controls and two tables.

She said the order of protection didn’t bar Livingston from living with her, but forbade her from arguing with her and drinking in her apartment.

Holland said that when she was put in the holding cell, Livingston was already in bad shape.

She said there were 15 women in the cell, and that Livingston’s condition grew worse when they were moved from the first floor.

Holland said she and other inmates cleared a bench for Livingston to lie on. “She was convulsing on the bench,” said Holland, who in 2009 received a $20,000 settlement from the city after suing the NYPD for false arrest.

She said one female jail staffer looked at Livingston and said “Just let it play out,” explaining her grandson suffered seizures.

Holland said an Emergency Medical Services crew was finally called between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. Sunday. By the time they arrived, Livingston had been dead for 20 minutes, she said.

Livingston’s mother, Anita Livingston, 61, said police came to her house at 10 a.m. Sunday to break the tragic news. “Nobody helped her. It’s not fair,” the mother sobbed.


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