Southern Indiana jail video shows man strapped to chair, tased before death
HARRISON COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - Newly released surveillance video inside a Harrison County Jail shows the moments when an inmate, Jarod Draper, was strapped to a five-point restraint chair and tased at least six times
The video was part of a recently-settled lawsuit against the facility, the former Harrison County Sheriff, and other employees.
Draper’s mother, Vicki Budd, has not seen the surveillance video of the tasing and the last few hours of her son’s life.
The incident happened on Oct. 4, 2018. Draper had been placed in a medical isolation cell. According to a lawsuit, he told the jail’s captain he had taken drugs. The lawsuit claims the signs of an overdose went untreated.
Draper is eventually strapped into a five-point restraint chair, a tool that according to the manufacturer is used to prevent an inmate from hurting themselves. Officers strap his hands and feet to the chair, place a spit guard on his face, and put a helmet on his head.
As he is reacting to the drug and strapped, one of the officers begins to use his taser, again and again. The lawsuit states he was tased at least six times.
“How Jarod died, and what those last moments must have been like, I’ll never get over it,” Budd told WAVE 3 News.
Draper’s mother says he was an active kid from a good home with parents who loved him.
“Just active and busy, and doing things, you know, always two or three steps ahead of mom.”
Budd was always at his games, and was supportive of all the other fun activities Draper tried, like sewing class.
After the tragic loss of two close friends and a divorce, Jarod fell victim to drugs.
“The first time you really figure out what’s going on is when they’ve been arrested and you’re like, do what? He did what, he had what?” she said.
Draper would go in and out of rehab at least seven times with sober periods which he enjoyed with his daughter. She says he was always there for his family, especially when his sister died of cancer.
“He wasn’t an addict that didn’t contribute, that wasn’t there for his family when they needed him,” she said.
The surveillance video shows Draper unable to move while the corrections officer Matthew Hulsey begins to use his taser repeatedly. At one point, he places and holds the taser on his chest.
“What happened to Jarod was unfathomable,” Budd’s attorney, Larry Wilder said. “Unfathomable.”
The taser left visible marks on his body.
“It appears to be that Jarod was tortured till the end of his life,” Wilder said.
In the last 15 minutes of the video, the jail’s nurse, Michael Gregory, who also tases Draper, is appearing to step on Jarod’s shackled, bare feet.
Then Jarod is moved to a gurney where emergency personnel begins CPR. But, it’s too late. Budd’s son was pronounced dead at the ER. The official cause of death, meth overdose.
“So when it happens, that you lose a child, your heart’s just broken,” she said. “For people who sit in judgment, know 15 minutes of his life. They don’t know the amount of joy.”
Hulsey was disciplined and later fired, but for a completely separate incident. The nurse still works at the facility.
There’s a new Sheriff running the jail now, who told us he’s brought in a body scanner to prevent people from bringing drugs into the jail, to protect the inmates and officers, he said.
The lawsuit has settled, but Budd says that’s not enough.
The jail released a statement saying in part: “The Sheriff’s Department’s insurance carrier made the decision to settle the lawsuit. The Sheriff’s Department, however, is happy to put this matter behind it. The Department has since this incident occurred purchased a body scanner that will allow it to detect whether incoming inmates have swallowed drugs in hopes of protecting inmates and officers and preventing similar incidents.”
“What I won’t do, is agree to secrecy. This needs to be exposed,” she said.
The use of restraint chairs has been contested over the years. Some counties across the United States have outlawed their use. There have been several other cases through the years of deaths and civil rights violations related to the use of the chair.
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