Gag order: pepper spray abuse.

Author:Riggs, Mike

IN 2009 the Lee County, Florida, medical examiner ruled Nick Christie's death a homicide. Christie, a 62-year-old retired boilermaker from Ohio, was pepper-sprayed :o times over a span of 43 hours while imprisoned. He died of a heart attack two days later. Three years later, the people responsible for Christie's death are in jail, but only because they work there as employees of the Lee County Sheriff's Office.

According to former reason columnist Radley Balko, writing in The Huffington Post, Lee County sheriff's deputies arrested Christie twice while he was visiting his brother in Fort Myers, Florida. After the first arrest, for public intoxication, Christie told his jailers he had emphysema and a heart condition. His wife, fearing for the safety of her husband, had previously contacted the Lee County Sheriff's Office to ask them to keep an eye out for Christie, who was suffering from depression.

When Christie was arrested a second time several days later on a charge of misdemeanor trespassing, he received no medical care and was denied access to his medications. Instead, he was taken back to the Lee County jail and repeatedly pepper sprayed over two days. During that period, in...

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