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Family of Black Milwaukee Inmate Who Died of Dehydration Gets $6.75M Settlement

Oyin Balogun
Jun 09, 2019
06:14 A.M.
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The family of a black inmate in Milwaukee finally gets about $7 million settlement years after he died from severe dehydration in the county jail. The circumstances of his death are horrific.


In April 2016, an African-American, Terrill Thomas, passed away in his cell at the Milwaukee County Jail; David Clark, a Trump follower, was in charge of it.

Photo of David Clark | Photo: Youtube / Newsy


He passed away after the officers at the jail denied him water for seven days, leading to severe dehydration. Three years later, his family is finally getting some form of justice.

They are getting about $7 million settlement, and the Milwaukee County and Armor Correctional Health Services will share the payment. The civil suit revealed that Clarke authorized the decision of the guards to deny the deceased water, but he is not among those liable to pay the settlement.

Photo of Milwaukee County Jail | Photo: Youtube / Daily Mail


James End, the lead counsel for the Thomas family, said that the severity of the pain the deceased went through, got captured on video, and it is quite horrific.

His co-counsel, Erik Hept, said the treatment the late Thomas received was torture, and although he was sick mentally and in need of attention, he did not get it. He added that instead, the deceased got denied the one thing he needed to keep him alive.

Image of Terrill Thomas | Photo: Youtube / TODAY’S TMJ4


In the joint statement of both counsels, they revealed that the deceased's plea for water towards the end of his life got denied and the jail officials let him die of thirst.

They equally noted that the money paid will not bring back Thomas or give his children more time with him, but they hope his story helps put an end to what they called "Blatant disregard of human life " by jail and prisons.

Photo of Terrill Thomas | Photo: Youtube / Daily Mail


The Armor Correctional Services are facing criminal trial for alleged falsification of medical records at the Milwaukee County Jail, and three of its now-dismissed staff members got convicted for acts connected to the deceased inmate's death.

Thomas had bipolar disorder; he got jailed after police picked him for shooting a man when he opened fire in a casino; he had a psychotic episode.

Photo of Terrill Thomas | Photo: Youtube / TODAY’S TMJ4

He spent a total of nine days at the jail, and within that time, he stuffed his pillow into his toilet. The action led to flooding in his cell, and he got moved to a new cell where his water supply was cut off.

The officials never turned the water back on, and Thomas died as a result of it. It was a sad end to a man who needed help but failed to get it from a system created to help him.