An article published by Reason Magazine illustrates the importance of public records access. The article recounts the tragic and disturbing tale of Nick Christie, an Ohio man who died in the custody of and at the hands of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department.
Christie, who suffered from serious mental illness was arrested and restrained in a chair. Sheriff’s deputes also covered his mouth and nose. Christie had previously been diagnosed with emphysema. The Lee County Sheriff’s deputies then proceeded to pepper spray Christie multiple times over the course of many hours.
Public records reveal that the State Attorney’s office who refused to seek prosecution of the deputies who tortured and killed Christie, has a long history of looking the other way when LEOs are involved with abusive behavior. It’s a troubling tale that will, inevitably, be repeated.
One of our favorite bloggers, Radley Balko, has published a companion piece that is also a must read.