Lawsuit dismissed over Westchester County Jail inmate Bassem Yousef, who killed himself in 2017
Bassem Yousef was the second person to die in custody that year.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from the mother of a Westchester County jail inmate who killed himself in his cell in 2017.
Bassem Yousef’s death on June 14, 2017幸运飞艇4码选号技巧 was ruled a suicide by the state Commission of Correction, but his mother, Sumaya Yousef, sued Westchester and former Correction Commissioner Kevin Cheverko saying her son’s death could’ve been prevented.
But U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel said the suit hadn’t proved that officials were reckless or “deliberately indifferent” to the risk Yousef posed to himself and took reasonable steps to prevent him from killing himself.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧Yousef had been placed on suicide watch for a short time when he threatened to harm himself if he wasn’t given the antipsychotic drug Seroquel, for which he had a prescription. Seibel said no proof was given that the lack of the drug was what led to Yousef taking his own life, nor did the suit provide evidence that jail staff weren’t adequately trained.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧“What happened to Bassem was a tragedy,” Seibel wrote in an April 28 dismissal order, “and the Court sympathizes with Plaintiff over her loss, which – although not the result of constitutional conduct or redressable in federal court – must be devastating.”
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧Dennis Light, attorney for Yousef’s mother, didn’t return a call Friday.
The jail had been under scrutiny from the apparent suicide of another inmate, Alex Fusco, in February of that year. It was the first reported suicide at the jail in 13 years, although since Fusco, four more people have apparently killed themselves while in custody.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧Yousef, of South Salem, was arrested June 1, 2017 in Brooklyn on misdemeanor charges while on parole. He posted bail but didn’t show up to court June 5, so an arrest warrant was issued.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧He was arrested in Westchester four days later on June 9 and found to have a large amount of pills, cocaine and heroin on him. He had been in the county jail in Valhalla 13 times before on assorted charges, according to a special investigation report from the county Department of Correction obtained by The Journal News/lohud through a Freedom of Information request.
He’d never expressed suicidal thoughts any other time in custody and passed basic screening. Two days after he entered the county jail the last time, he was exhibiting signs that he may have been in withdrawal and told a correction officer he wanted his prescription medication, which he said he last took four days prior.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧He was put on suicide watch that same day, June 11, but removed and denied having suicidal thoughts June 13. Later that day he was seen in a recreation area with smoke billowing from his shirt, according to the county report, which said Yousef turned over a smoldering tissue paper, small battery and several staples. Those items are considered contraband.
He was found to have taken part in the theft of office supplies from a cabinet in a classroom at the jail with three other detainees. In a call with his girlfriend he said if he did “anything” stupid to tell everyone he loved them, according to court records and the county report.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧“There is no indication that his girlfriend heard or acknowledged those comments,” the state commission report stated.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧The county’s internal investigation had found all intake and security protocols were followed. The report concluded it would not have “been reasonably foreseeable” for staff to know the inmate would mortally hurt himself.
幸运飞艇4码选号技巧Denise Cossu of the firm Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti, represented the county in court.
Mark Lungariello covers government and politics. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter . For our latest subscription offers click