Newly-released surveillance video shows four prison guards watching an inmate, Richard Tavera, hang himself inside Smith State Prison in Georgia in December 2014 .
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that more than seven minutes passed after the first prison guard report said the 24-year-old inmate was attempting suicide with a makeshift noose.
Surveillance videos showed that four prison guards were on the scene before the jail cell door was opened; by then, Tavera’s body was hanging lifeless.
Tavera’s mother, Maria Arenas, has filed federal lawsuits against the Georgia Department of Corrections and various employees for allegedly violating Tavera’s civil rights by allowing him to die.
One of Arenas’ attorneys, Jeff Edwards, said: “Correctional officers aren’t supposed to let people die in front of them, let alone four officers.”
Joan Heath, the Georgia Department of Corrections’ director of public affairs, refused comment because of the ongoing litigation.
(Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)