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Jefferson County settles in jail death suit. Parents to get 1.6 million
Jefferson County settles jail-death suit
Parents who alleged excessive force will get $1.6 million
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BREMERTON -- Jefferson County has agreed to pay $1.6 million to settle
a lawsuit filed over an inmate's death while in restraints at the
Kevin Wayne Bledsoe, 23, died in 2001. His parents sued the county in
federal court, alleging he was the victim of excessive force and gross
mishandling by officers.
"Kevin Bledsoe lost his life after members of the Jefferson County
Sheriff's Office sprayed him in the face with pepper spray, tied him up
in a controversial 'hog-tie' position using a homemade rope, put a hood
over his injured and bleeding head, brought him to the Jefferson County
jail rather than to a hospital, and held him face down on the floor of
an isolation cell until he suddenly went limp and lost consciousness,"
the lawsuit says.
Instead of getting him medical aid, the officers removed his clothing
and left him lying face down in a pool of blood, the lawsuit said.
Bledsoe was arrested after a fight in a supermarket parking lot. He had
recently moved to Port Hadlock from Texas.
The other parties did not agree to the facts as presented by the
Former County Administrator David Goldsmith, who handled the case for
the county after his retirement, declined comment except to say the
county did not consider it an "excessive force" case.
None of the officers involved was disciplined after an investigation
by the Clallam County Sheriff's office.
Methamphetamine was found in Bledsoe's system, and an independent
pathologist at the time ruled his death accidental, caused by the drug
and an existing heart condition. The lawsuit challenged that finding.
The county will pay $10,000 out of pocket, Goldsmith said. The rest of
the settlement is covered by the county's risk insurance pool.
i am Kevin's Mother and i just read the article and although alot of people do not know the whole story i don't go through one single day without thinking about my son... a vibrant, wonderful young man only 23 yrs old, with a little 3 yr old daughter.. it makes me mad when i read what is written about him, he did not have a pre-existing heart condition where they came up with that i have no clue, it was caused from the stress the police officers put on him by hog-tying him, pepper spraying him and a mesh mask over his face (which they fail to mention), AND A BROKEN HYOID BONE, which prevents you from speaking or swallowing.. so he was spitting.. i cannot stand to read what the police dept says or does, it wasn't about the money... i wanted them to admit they were wrong.. why didn't they take him to the hospital? and had he died there, at least i would have known that everything was done medically for him, instead they left him naked on a jail cell floor (observation room), locked the door and turned out the light.. explain that.. WE DID NOTHING WRONG.. but now.. HOPEFULLY THE POLICE DEPT HAS made changes and that Kevin's death did bring some sort of WAKE UP CALL (and my wonderful attorney's) will save some other person's life... i do not go thru one day without thinking about him, i miss him terribly and i just hope the people involved can live with themselves and YOU know who you are!!!! because i am still very angry, and no amount of money would or will ever bring my SON back... HE'S MY SON... and i buried him on his 24th birthday.. so you live with that WASHINGTON STATE... IF anyone wants to leave me comments or has any information please please... leave a reply.. i will check back and thanks for listening.. God Bless You ALL!!!
Sandym, I am very sorry to hear what has happened to your son. I am glad you found us here at PTO. There is alot of support here for you.We all understand it wasnt about the money but to make sure everyone knew what was going on and to make sure it doenst happen again.Thank you for thinking of saving someones elses life as you were losing your sons life. Hopefully the law enforcement here in WA state can be more careful in their choices.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Sandy, I am so sorry for your loss. I'm thankful that you were willing to put your family through the turmoil of courts, lawyers, and public scrutiny and judgment, in the hopes of saving a life. Your family is in my prayers.
Sandy, thank you so much for coming into our forum and posting.I can feel your pain and anger coming thru your post and my heart goes out to you.
We have all dealt with the police and DOC and so we know how they twist the facts to make themselves look better. Thank God you stood up for your son and let the public know exactly what happened! DOC needs to be held accountable for killing your son.
My prayers and thoughts are with you, your granddaughter and other family members as well. You are right the people that did this to your son knows who they are and they will have to live with themselves for the rest of their lives and they know in their hearts what they did wasn't right and it should have never happened the way that it did.God Bless you and may everything work out for you and your family.