November 7th, 2013
12:53 PM ET

New Video Shows Pot Prisoner Pleading For Help

A never-before-seen videotape from a county jail reveals how a 22-year-old inmate was ignored by guards shortly before he died from a food allergy. CNN's Zoraida Sambolin reports.

New video shows Michael Saffioti allegedly pleaded with guards for help as he suffocated from a fatal allergic reaction to dairy.

His mother Rose is still fighting for answers a year after her son voluntarily turned himself in to a county jail on a minor pot possession charge. The next morning, Saffioti died from an acute asthma attack after eating a bowl of oatmeal.

According to a damages claim, Saffioti said he "needed to see a nurse" and the guard told him to "go into 'lockdown' in his cell" while he "called the nurses station."

Over the next half hour you can see inmates checking in on him as he tries to get the guards attention, jumping up and down, and according to the claim knocking on the window and pressing the call button.

Forty-five minutes later, a guard doing a routine module check found Saffiotti unconscious. nurses and firefighters performed cpr. Unresponsive, they rushed him to the hospital but two hours after that first bite of oatmeal, Michael was pronounced dead.

Soon after, Snohomish County Jail asked for a federal review and the National Institute of Corrections found that the jail's health department is "seriously understaffed" and that "crowding poses significant health and personal safety risks.


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  1. forgottenman2013

    Reblogged this on The Firewall.

    November 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply

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