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'I can't breathe': Father begged for help before dying in private jail

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Video from a private prison on the Texas-Arkansas-Louisana border showed the distrubing circumstances around the death of a 35-year old man that occurred last July, reported Carbonated.TV. The prison, Bi-State Jail, is privately run by LaSalle Southwest Corrections

Video of Michael Sabbie begging for help. Source: Huffington Post

Michael Sabbie, a father of four, was found dead in his cell three days after his arrest. When he had arrived in court earlier, he said that he was spitting blood and needed to go to the hospital. The video, released by Huffington Post last Wednesday, shows prison guards violently subduing Mr. Sabbie.

The guards flung him to the ground, piled on top of him, and then pepper-sprayed him in the face. A sixth guard joined in and accused him of resisting the other guards, and ignored Mr. Sabbie as he begged "I can't breathe. Please, please, I got pneumonia." He then continued to beg for water as he was examined by a facility nurse, who said his symptoms were normal for someone who had just been hit with pepper spray. He died three days later of 'natural' causes. 

“If you just looked at the cause of death, you would think that Michael died of some sort of hypertensive heart condition, and that may be true,” Erik J. Heipt, one of the attorneys representing the Sabbie family, told the Huffington Post. “But if we didn’t have a video, we’d never know that he had been begging for help due to his shortness of breath and inability to breathe. We’d never know that he said ‘I can’t breathe’ 19 times in the nine minutes that we hear in that video.”

The Department of Justice decided earlier this year to not pursue charges against any of the officers involved in the video.