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Larry Eugene Price, Jr., wandered into the small northwest Arkansas police station on August 19, 2020, as he did nearly every day.
According to Newsweek, Police in the town, Fort Smith, were used to seeing Price, then 50, coming in, hanging around for a bit, then leaving.
Mr. Price Jr. needed help, instead he was charged, jailed, and starved
Price, also diagnosed with bipolar disorder and having PTSD, used his finger like a gun to point around the station and at officers, threatening and cursing at those present. Officers then arrested him on a state felony – terroristic threatening in the first degree.
Well-known to police in Fort Smith, Price Jr. was unemployed, unmarried, and had paranoid schizophrenia, causing him to “suffer from bouts of psychosis.” He also had intellectual developmental disorder, according to the lawsuit.
Standing 6-foot-2 and nearing 200 pounds, Price Jr., according to police reports, wasn’t an immediate threat. He had no weapon.
Reports maintain police unsuccessfully attempted to reason with him before he was handcuffed and taken to the Sebastian County Detention Center, which handles inmates from Fort Smith.
He was locked up, then went before a judge who set bond at $1,000; he would have been free with $100 for bail, however he was unable to afford the cost of freedom, so he instead paid with his life.
Arkansas GOP Leadership Quiet After Appointing New Leader
The new Republican governor of Arkansas, Sarah Sanders, seems to only legislate which books can and can’t be read. She apparently hasn’t had the time to notice inmates dying inside her state’s prison.
“It’s incredibly important that we do things to protect the students in our state,” she told Fox News Sunday. “We have to make sure that we are not indoctrinating our kids and that these policies and these ideas never see the light of day.”
Though Mr. Price allegedly had mental health challenges, he was not the sole inmate Arkansas corrections officers have recently encountered with similar issues.
Details tell of Price Jr.’s desperate dying days
According to ABC 7, the lawsuit says, “Larry Price suffered in the tortured throes of his untreated mental disorder for months on end as jail healthcare and security staff watched him waste away—apathetic to his life-threatening medical and mental health needs and to the cruelty of his confinement.”
Photos of the horrific conditions suffered by Prince Jr. were published by the Daily Mail, yet, his emaciated body was only the half the story.
According to Newsweek, he was found in his cell with his eyes wide open, naked, with dried saliva on his mouth, and in a pool of standing water. He had reportedly taken to eating his own feces and drinking his urine prior to this death.
Daily Mail reports the lawsuit against Sebastian County accused the jail and its medical provider of neglecting Price as he ate and drank less over the course of a year and his weight dropped from 185 pounds to 90 pounds.
Jail staff also discontinued Price’s mental health medications after he refused to take them, the lawsuit said, and didn’t make any effort to follow up with the inmate to address his mental health needs.
The Black Wall Street Times has reached out to the Sebastian County Detention Center for further comment. Officials did not immediately respond at the time of this article’s publication.