Black Man Died From Dehydration In Jail After 9 Days

Terrill Thomas' death in the Milwaukee County Jail on April 24 was ruled a homicide by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office Sept. 15.

The medical examiner's report, which was released four months later, said that Thomas' "biochemistry testing revealed profound dehydration," notes WISN.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in July that inmates heard Thomas begging for water, and that the water faucet inside Thomas' jail cell had been turned off by prison guards for six days. The inmates said the guards shut off the water because Thomas had been flooding a previous cell and acting in an erratic manner.

Before Thomas was arrested on April 15, his family asked the cops to take Thomas into custody because his mental illness was causing him to act erratically and violently.

Thomas allegedly shot his best friend in the chest only hours before firing two shots inside the Potawatomi Bingo Casino, reports WISN. Thomas was not legally allowed to have a gun because of prior felony convictions

Thomas' father, T.J., said that the inmates had been the only source of information regarding his son's death.

The medical examiner's report mentioned that Thomas suffered from a bipolar disorder. He was scheduled to undergo a court-ordered psychiatric examination by May 11.

Thomas was in jail for nine days after the casino incident when he died.

The Milwaukee County Jail is operated by Sheriff David Clarke who has blamed liberal policies for violence and other societal woes; Clarke will not comment on Thomas' death until investigations into the incident are completed.

The district attorney will ultimately decide if a crime was committed; the Milwaukee Police Department is investigating the incident.

"Why would you put a person that messed up in jail?" Thomas' mother, Celia, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He shouldn't have been there in the first place. He should have been in a mental complex."

"They could have gave him some water," Celia added.

Tiffany Robertson, Thomas' cousin, said the family is considering legal action.

Sources: WISN, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (2) / Photo credit: Thomas Family via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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