Another Reason to Resist: The “Devil’s Chair”
William Norman Grigg
Restraint chairs come in various styles, colors, and brand names, but the design and function are consistent: The device binds an inmate in such a way that he or she cannot move the arms, legs, or torso. Supposedly created for the sole purpose of restraining violent and dangerous inmates to prevent them from injuring themselves or others, restraint chairs are frequently used to punish captives whose behavior wasn’t dangerous, but merely annoying to their captors. This has led to a growing number of incidents in which prisoners have been abused, maimed, crippled, and killed.Makes you proud to be an American, don't it?
An officer identified as Deputy James Vandermeer can be seen inserting pepper spray into the gap in the “spit shield,” an appliance that covers the victim’s face. After the shield was removed ten minutes later, the inmate was left convulsing and crying for help for an hour and fifteen minutes. He never received medical attention.
Christie was repeatedly shackled to a restraint chair, hooded, and attacked with military-grade pepper spray. The chemical assault was so intense that it left other inmates gagging on the fumes. Christie, who suffered from respiratory and heart disease, pleaded with deputies to remove the spit mask because he couldn’t breathe. One inmate described how Nick turned “purple and almost blue” as he suffocated.
Medical personnel who attempted to save Christie’s life were overwhelmed by the pepper spray residue, which was potent enough to eat through their medical gloves. The victim died of heart failure two days after his arrest. The death was ruled a homicide – but the State Attorney’s office insisted that there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the deputies who tortured Nick Christie to death.
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