David Stojcevski was charged with obstruction of justice as part of a careless driving ticket, but could not afford to pay the $772 fine so he was sentenced to 30 days in the Macomb County Jail in Michigan. His family released a jail surveillance video (below) on Sept. 24 showing how he suffered and died on June 27, 2014.
When Stojcevski was taken into custody on June 10, 2014, a nurse recommended a medical drug detox unit, but instead Stojcevski was put into a regular jail cell.
Six days later, Stojcevski was acting strangely and was transferred to a mental health cell where he was stripped naked, placed under suicide watch and filmed for 11 days by a jail surveillance camera.
On the video, Stojcevski is seen suffering multiple seizures and hallucinations, and even crawling under his bed to get away from the cell lights, which are on 24/7.
"It's unconscionable that they let this human being suffer like this," addiction expert and licensed psychologist Diane Rockwell told Click On Detroit.
"It's a very obvious sign of withdrawal, and anybody who even has two minutes of training knows that," Rockwell added.
“This is shameful, substantial and unconscionable neglect,” Robert Ihrie, the lawyer for Stojcevski’s brother Vladimir, who filed a wrongful death lawsuit in March, told CBS Detroit.
Ihrie claims that Stojcevski died from benzodiazepine withdrawal, which happened because he was not given his methadone medication in jail.
The lawsuit says that Stojcevski asked on June 21 if he was going to get his medication, but was told the “medication has not been ordered at this time.”
Vladimir is suing Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, several mental health professionals, Correct Care Solutions (provides the jail with health care) and 16 deputies.
Macomb County attorney Ron Chapman would not comment, and Wickersham told CBS Detroit, “No comment.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO