Elliot Earl Williams died in prison on October 27, 2011, but a legal team is still pursuing justice on his behalf.
According to Tulsa World, Williams was arrested by Tulsa, Oklahoma police on October 22, 2011 for breaking things in a nearby Marriot hotel. The police report from his arrest explicitly states that Williams was mentally ill.
“It was readily apparent that the suspect was having a mental breakdown…The suspect was rambling about God, eating dirt.” Tulsa World, who first broke this story, reported that “At one point, Williams stated that he was going to kill himself that night and asked police to ‘shoot me twice’, the arrest report states. After officers repeatedly asked Williams to sit down, he said to them, ‘What do I have to do to get you to shoot me?’”
Williams' mental illness was apparent throughout his five day stay at Tulsa Jail. He rammed his head into a steel while in a holding cell. Prison workers refused to treat Williams, saying he was faking paralysis. He remained immobile as workers picked up his body and placed him in a shower cell. He was left there by workers for two hours.
Throughout the next three days, Williams remained immobile on his cell floor. He could not reach food or water placed in his cell by prison officials, who still believed he was faking his paralysis.
Vomit, saliva, and feces surrounded Williams after days on his cell floor. Prison medical staff checked on Williams; at 8 am on October 27 and found him almost entirely unresponsive. They returned three hours later to give him CPR. Williams' was pronounced dead shortly after.
Lawyers are now suing Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz and the jail’s health care provider, Correctional Healthcare Management of Oklahoma, Inc. The legal team is claiming wrongful death and civil rights violations on Williams' behalf.
A 10-minute video of Williams' time in the prison cell can be seen below. I’ve got to warn you, some of it is hard to stomach.