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While working on my cover story about inmate Thomas Jones‘ death and the jail guards’ bungled response, I must have watched the surveillance video more than a dozen times. I slowed down the speed. I counted up how many points Jones scored during his basketball games. I freeze-framed on key moments—-particularly what the officers did and didn’t do after Jones collapsed on that gym floor. Not once did I see anything resembling basic lifesaving techniques or CPR.
The Jones family has sued the District over this issue. But it was still shocking when lawyers representing the District argued in a court filing that after they watched the video they concluded that “guards come in and CPR is performed.”
Yesterday, the government filed a correction [PDF] in Superior Court. A small army at the Office of the Attorney General wrote the court: “It has come to the attention of the District of Columbia (the “District”) that former counsel made an error…” They then retracted their testimony that “guards come in and CPR is performed.”
They now argue that “guards come in and provide medical assistance to [Jones].”
Of course, “medical assistance” has a lot of wiggle room. But I’m still unclear what was “medical” in any of their actions. Watch the video and decide for yourself.