Florida inmate, Randall Jordan-Aparo (pictured), 27, who suffered from a rare blood disorder, was allegedly gassed to death in 2010 after begging for medical help
A disabled Florida inmate, who suffered from a rare blood disorder, was allegedly gassed to death in 2010 after he spent for days begging for medical help.
Randall Jordan-Aparo, 27, was serving a 20-month sentence for credit card fraud at the Franklin Correctional Institution in the Florida Panhandle and was classified as a minimum security prisoner.
Jordan-Aparo suffered from Osler-Weber-Rendu disease a rare autosomaldominant genetic disorder that leads to abnormal blood vessel formation in the skin, mucous membranes, and often in organs such as the lungs, liver, and brain.
On September 15, 2010, he went to the prison infirmary to complain about pain in his back and his side.
The lawsuit, which was filed in September 2016, says Jordan-Aparo had a ‘serious infection’ caused by his disease.
However, he was allegedly told to just drink some water, take Tylenol and get some rest. When he protested, he was put him in an isolation cell and sprayed with a ‘chemical restrain agent,’ according to court documents.
Jordan-Aparo’s death at Franklin Correctional Institution was publicized widely amid scrutiny of the Florida Department of Corrections for suspicious deaths.
On Saturday, the lawsuit filed by his family won a key victory in the case.
On September 15, 2010, he went to the prison infirmary to complain about pain in his back and his side. The lawsuit says he had a ‘serious infection’ caused by his disease. However, he was allegedly told to just drink some water, take Tylenol and get some rest
When he protested, he was put him in an isolation cell and sprayed with a ‘chemical restrain agent,’ according to court documents. The incident took place at the Franklin Correctional Institution
A federal judge rejected a request by the Florida Department of Corrections to throw out the lawsuit, which accuses prison workers of violating his rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act, according to The Washington Post.
‘If the Department asserts that providing at least some treatment is always sufficient to exonerate the Department from liability under the ADA or Rehabilitation Act, the Department is simply wrong,’ US District Judge Robert L. Hinkle wrote.
But the corrections department denied that prison workers were ‘deliberately indifferent’ to Jordan-Aparo’s needs.
The department said he was never denied access to medical services in the prison.
But the judge ruled that providing some medical treatment could still constitute deliberate indifference, the Post reported.
When Jordan-Aparo first sought medical treatment on September 15, 2010, nurses recorded a body temperature of 102.4 degrees.
Medical staff sent him back to his cell and ‘ordered bedrest and Tylenol’, according to the suit.
Two days later, he went back to the infirmary, and told the staff that it was a ‘medical emergency’, but a nurse allegedly told him to drink more water.
But Jordan-Aparo demanded to be taken to a hospital and threatened to sue the medical staff, according to the Post.
He was then taken to an isolation cell and sprayed with gass. Hours later, guards found Jordan-Aparo dead on the floor of his cell.
On Saturday, the lawsuit filed by his family won a key victory in the case. A federal judge rejected a request by the Florida Department of Corrections to throw out the lawsuit, which accuses prison workers of violating his rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act
But the corrections department denied that prison workers were ‘deliberately indifferent’ to Jordan-Aparo’s (pictured) needs. The department said he was never denied access to medical services in the prison
‘No labs were taken, no x-rays were taken, and there was no referral to a doctor,’ the lawsuit reads.
‘The medical services provided to Aparo were objectively insufficient,’ the lawsuit says. ‘This is a deliberately indifferent and reckless disregard for the treatment of Aparo’s medical needs and disability.’
The federal civil righs lawsuit filed on behalf of his 13-year-old daughter, alleges that Florida prison officials tried to cover up Jordan-Aparo’s death.
Amanda Cimillo, the mother of Jordan-Aparo’s daughter, filed the lawsuit that alleges corrections officers killed him and the prison’s nurses, doctors and warden conspired to cover up his death.
According to the lawsuit, Jordan-Aparo had been in the prison infirmary multiple times on the days before his death complaining of breathing problems and other health issues.
The suit claims that a nurse and other prison medical staff concluded he was faking illness, and sent him to a confinement cell where he was gassed at least three times.
Inmates interviewed afterward said they heard Jordan-Aparo screaming ‘I can’t take the gas’ and ‘I need a nurse.’
The suit claims he was dragged to a shower by guards, where he complained of difficulty breathing.
WHAT IS OSLER-WEBER-RENDU DISEASE?
Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a disorder that affects blood vessels. It can cause bleeding in the digestive tract, anemia, increased risk of stroke and other symptoms.
In most cases, HHT isn’t life-threatening and symptoms can be effectively managed.
HHT is also known as Osler-Weber-Rendu disease. Signs and symptoms include nosebleeds, red or purple spots, lacy red vessels, shortness of breath, migraine headaches, iron deficiency anemia, fatigue, and blood in the stool.
HHT is genetic and can affect people at any age. No cure exists for HHT, but treatment can help avoid serious complications caused by abnormal blood vessels. HHT treatment often depends on which parts of the body are affected.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Jordan-Aparo’s body was later discovered in the cell covered in an orange residue from the canned chemical ‘CNS gas’ known as ‘red devils’ in the prison. He was clothed only in a pair of boxer shorts.
‘He had a disease which affected his breathing, which we believe makes him a disabled adult. They knew he had this disease,’ Ryan Andrews, the family’s attorney, said last year.
‘There were other inmates who heard him screaming, begging for help, while he clutched his Bible. When people go to prison, that shouldn’t be a fear that they have.’
After his death, the suit claims that the warden, Diane Andrews, ‘instructed that no interviews be conducted of inmate witnesses’.
Andrews later concluded that use of force against Jordan-Aparo fell within rules governing the use of force, a finding approved by the department’s inspector general.
The lawsuit by the inmate’s family isn’t the only one related to his case. Florida corrections investigators also have alleged cover-ups by the corrections department in separate lawsuits over Jordan-Aparo’s death.
After investigations into the abuse of Jordan-Aparo and other inmates by the Miami Herald and other outlets, changes have been made at the Department of Corrections including the firing of nearly 50 prison employees, including several related to abuse allegations.