Listen to this article Prison Inmate Allegedly Frozen to Death in Jail’s Kitchen Freezer as Punishment
Mitchell’s mother filed a federal lawsuit, accusing the jail staff of abuse and neglect leading to her son’s death. The lawsuit asserts that Anthony Don Mitchell, a 33-year-old prison inmate, froze to death while in police custody after the jail staff locked him in the kitchen freezer as punishment. This incident took place in Alabama, and in response to Mitchell’s in-custody death at Walker Baptist Hospital on Jan. 26, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office requested an investigation from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA).
Leaked Security Camera Footage
The sheriff’s office stated that Mitchell became unresponsive at the hospital and was pronounced deceased. However, leaked security camera footage from the jail shows a different story. Protesters are demanding answers from the authorities after the security camera footage emerged, which shows them carrying Mitchell’s near-lifeless and frozen body out of the jail and into a vehicle to transport him to the hospital.
Neglect and Punishment
According to the lawsuit, the jail staff transported Mitchell to the hospital only after subjecting him to “hours of neglect,” which included locking him inside the jail’s walk-in freezer as a form of punishment. The leaked security camera footage provides evidence to support this claim, as it shows Mitchell’s near-lifeless body, which appeared to be frozen, being transported to the hospital. Austin Banks, a former classmate of Mitchell’s, was among the protestors demanding answers from the sheriff’s office. He stated, “Just the way it happened too, it was almost barbaric. How does America, in 2023, how does a prisoner… die of hypothermia?”
The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences will conduct an autopsy to determine the official cause of Mitchell’s death, according to the sheriff’s office. The investigation is ongoing, and once it is complete, the Walker County District Attorney’s Office will receive the findings.
Mitchell’s Arrest and Charges
Mitchell had been in custody at the Walker County Jail since his arrest on Jan. 12. According to the sheriff’s office, the chain of events started when deputies received a call from a concerned family member of Mitchell that day, saying he had made statements that he may harm himself or others. Deputies responded to the scene for a welfare check, where they found Mitchell in the front yard of the home. Mitchell immediately brandished a handgun and fired at least one shot at deputies before running into a wooded area behind the home.
Arrest and Recovery of Drugs and a Handgun
Multiple agencies responded to the “shots fired” call, and officials worked to secure the area. Eventually, after a long search, authorities were able to take Mitchell into custody. He was booked into the Walker County Jail on charges of attempted murder. During the investigation, deputies also recovered methamphetamine, heroin, and a handgun from the home.
In conclusion, this tragic incident has raised concerns about the treatment of inmates in jails and the accountability of law enforcement agencies. Mitchell’s mother’s lawsuit against the jail staff highlights the need for an unbiased investigation and justice for the victims of abuse and neglect in police custody.