SD City Beat — Bernard Joseph Victorianne was a 28-year-old black male with a ticking time bomb in his stomach.
Victorianne was arrested on Sept. 12, 2012, less than two blocks from the San Diego Police Department’s Mid-City station on suspicion of driving under the influence. A week later, he was found dead in his cell—the 60th inmate to die in the custody of the San Diego County jail system since 2007.
Immediately after his arrest, Victorianne was taken to Alvarado Hospital to be treated for alcohol intoxication. Even then, police and medical staff believed the suspect— who was on probation for a number of narcotics offenses— likely had swallowed a bindle of drugs. He was observed overnight, then transferred to the San Diego Central Jail. For the next several days, Victorianne was bounced between sobriety cells, secure units and administrative segregation (a normal housing unit reserved for problematic inmates who need to be separated from the general population) due to his lasting, agitated behavior. He was prescribed Haldol, a powerful anti-psychotic, and anti-anxiety medication.
According to the medical examiner’s report, Sheriff’s deputies couldn’t say exactly when they last saw Victorianne alive. Deputies checked on him in the “early evening” of Sept. 18. He was left unmonitored through the night.
At 4:30 a.m., guards who brought breakfast into his cell found him lying on the floor, naked, but didn’t check whether or not he was conscious. Two-and-a-half hours later, guards began their morning rounds and discovered that Victorianne hadn’t moved. By the time they entered his cell, rigor mortis had begun in his lower extremities. continue reading...