Disabled man’s unexplained injuries spark lawsuit against Marion County Jail

An intellectually disabled Indianapolis man who suffered unexplained injuries and allegedly was not given his medication while incarcerated in the Marion County Jail has filed a lawsuit against the Marion County Sheriff’s office, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and several individual officers and staff.

Keith Crumley was taken into custody after Indianapolis police were called to his group home on a report that someone threw a bottle. He was taken to the emergency room at Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital for a detention hold and an evaluation.

Crumley has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, intermittent explosive disorder and an intellectual disability. At the hospital, he was unable to respond in more than a few sentences and he was extremely agitated, pulling at his hands and feet that were still in handcuffs, according to the complaint. The medical staff advised the police that because of concerns for Crumley’s behavior and the management of his medications while in the jail, that he be released from custody.

However, Crumley was transferred to the Marion County Jail on Oct. 13, 2017, and, the complaint states, “placed on a unit without adequate supervision or support.”

Upon his release three days later, Crumley had to be brought out of the jail in a wheelchair. The complaint states he was crying, in a fetal position and unable to talk. He was taken to Eskenazi, where he remained from Oct. 16 to 19.

Hospital staff observed Crumley only communicated with long groans and was unable to lift his arms above his head or walk without assistance. The complaint asserts he vomited multiple times, was distressed, his hypertonicity worsened, his neck was stiff in all directions and he was in hyperreflexia.

Also, he had the unexplained injuries of a bruise on his left, upper eyelid, a healing laceration on the bridge of his nose, bruising at left shoulder and left hand, and a bilateral edema from the ankle down.

According to the lawsuit, Crumley experienced these symptoms because his medication, clozapine, was abruptly discontinued and because of the stress of incarceration and conditions inside the jail.

Crumley’s misdemeanor battery charge, filed in State of Indiana v. Keith Crumley, 49G19-1710-CM-039553, was dismissed May 30, 2018. He filed his civil suit Oct. 4, 2019.

Crumley, through his next friend and guardian, Shirley Crumley, claims the defendants violated the Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth amendments, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the laws and public policies of the state of Indiana. He is seeking compensatory and punitive damages along with appropriate declaratory and injunctive relief.

Indiana Disability Rights is representing Crumley in Crumleys in Keith R. Crumley, by Next Friend Shirley Crumley v. Kerry J. Forestall, in his official capacity as Sheriff of Marion County; Marion County Sheriff’s Office; Bryan K. Roach, in his official capacity as Chief of Police of the IMPD: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department; Officer Khyree Jones, in his individual capacity; Teresa Pierce, in her individual capacity; Correct Care Solutions (aka Wellpath LLC); Tyler Bouma, in his individual capacity; JoAnna Sahm, in her individual capacity; Robert D. Frederick, in his individual capacity; Diedra D. Baker, in her individual capacity; Tanesha S. Crear, in her individual capacity; William Weaver, in his individual capacity; Officer Foxworth (ID 41380), in his individual capacity, 1:19-cv-4110.

“It is important to the Crumleys that the defendants are held accountable for what happened. Individuals with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations within a correctional setting,” said Nikki Gray, staff attorney with Indiana Disability Rights. “Mr. Crumley relied on the defendants for his safety and wellbeing and as a result of their failure to protect, he unnecessarily suffered additional trauma and stress.”

The Office of Corporation Counsel is representing the defendants. In response to a media inquiry, the OCC said in an email, “Out of respect for the judicial process, we do not comment on specific litigation.”

Eskenazi staff requested the jail staff keep Crumley on self-safety precautions and closely monitor his behaviors and medications, according to the complaint. However, he was placed in the general population or a minimally supervised unit.

On Oct. 15, he fell while being transported with the other inmates, the complaint states. His nose was bleeding and his ankle was swollen. After being treated at Eskenazi, Crumley was returned to the jail. The complaint states he was later found to be running into walls, defecating himself and unable to communicate verbally.

The defendants have filed a notice of automatic enlargement of time, extending their response deadline to Nov. 27, 2019.

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