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Attorneys Representing Police Misconduct Victims Across Texas

This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for police misconduct injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by police miscponduct.

The Family of a Former New Orleans, Louisiana, Prisoner who Died of an Overdose Sues the Jail and Others

Friday, December 1st, 2017
English: Baton Rouge River Center

English: Baton Rouge River Center (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Twenty-three-year-old Colby Crawford was a prisoner in a New Orleans jail when he died of an overdose of cocaine in February of 2017. His family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the jail, the jail’s health care contractor, and others. Crawford had mental problems and had previously been in a special psychiatric unit before being transferred to jail, and the family had hoped Crawford would be safe there. He was in jail for allegedly punching his mother and hitting his sister with a wooden spoon. He pled not guilty by reason of insanity.

Crawford had been in a psychiatric hospital, experiencing hallucinations such as seeing ghosts, just prior to being booked into the Orleans Justice Center (OJC) in 2016. Rather than being placed in the special psychiatric unit in Baton Rouge, Crawford was prescribed medication and weeks later sent to the psych unit. After being in Baton Rouge for two months, he was allegedly returned to OJC as a punishment for minor rules infractions.

Eventually, Crawford was released into general population at OJC, where records show he failed to consistently take medications prescribed to him. In the understaffed unit where he stayed, however, prisoners accessed drugs. On February 22, the day Crawford collapsed and died of an overdose, he had allegedly snorted lines of coke in clear view of surveillance cameras throughout the day. At approximately 8 p.m., he suddenly died.

The family is making a number of claims in Crawford’s death, including that there was a failure to provide adequate mental health care, a failure to supervise the prisoners, and a failure to keep contraband from entering the jail.

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