Man Dies in Jail After “Likely” Being Locked in Freezer

According to a complaint, a mentally ill man who died from hypothermia while in police custody “likely” passed away after being placed in a freezer in an Alabama jail for hours. The lawsuit alleges that Anthony Mitchell, 33, died in January after suffering various constitutional violations at the Walker County Jail.

The lawsuit against multiple jail authorities, including Sheriff Nick Smith, alleges that Mitchell was “likely… placed in a restraint chair and left for hours in the jail kitchen’s walk-in freezer or a similarly chilly setting.” The lawsuit described Mitchell’s treatment as “one of the most egregious instances of jail mistreatment in the country.”

The lawsuit asks, “How does a man practically freeze to death in a modern, climate-controlled jail while in the supervision and care of corrections officers?” A former deputy terminated after uploading videos purporting to show Mitchell being abused in jail has filed a separate but related lawsuit against the sheriff’s office. Mitchell was allegedly dragged naked across the floor and tased by officers inside his isolation cell, as depicted in her footage.