A Florida inmate, Craig Ridley, reportedly died from starvation after he couldn’t reach his food after corrections officers paralyzed him.
According to reports, Ridley reportedly lay on the floor of his cell for five days and begged for help as officers dropped food trays he couldn’t reach. The unnamed officers had reportedly tackled him to the ground a few hours prior, which resulted in the dislocation of his neck.
“My neck is broke. I’m paralyzed,” a wheelchair-ridden Ridley reportedly said at the time.
“You’re bullsh*tting. You’re just trying to get a lawsuit,” a corrections officer responded.
Details from a 383-page investigation launched by The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) revealed hidden information about Ridley’s death. The report indicated that an inmate signaled to officers that he was lying in a pool of his own blood and, when taken to a doctor, was told nothing was wrong with him. Neurology tests weren’t even conducted on Ridley despite his lifeless-looking limbs and inability to move on his own, the FDLE said. As a result, he passed away due to injuries and alleged starvation. His fellow inmates and relatives told investigators that his death might’ve been a cover-up.
Ridley was reportedly sentenced to a 20-year mandatory minimum on attempted rape charges in 2007. A decade later, in 2017, officers got into a struggle with him, and he was tackled to the ground face-first. In video footage of the alleged incident, he was seen receiving a wheelchair after telling officers he was immobile. He was then taken to solitary confinement, where the officers propped him up on a toilet in the cell, but he ended up falling and breaking his nose.
In September of that year, one officer reportedly noticed that the Florida man was mumbling unintelligibly and hadn’t moved, FDLE’s report said. He was then brought to Memorial Hospital the following morning, and by the time his sister Diane Ridley Gatewood arrived, he had been intubated. The following month, he tragically died, and the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.
Ridley’s daughter, Jatoon Moss, reportedly hopes to seek justice.