Last year, 22-year-old Michael Saffioti had a warrant out for a misdemeanor pot charge in Washington state. Despite having severe allergies and asthma, Saffioti turned himself in and turned over his life to jailers who let him die from an allergic reaction to his breakfast despite knowing full well of his condition.
At the time, the state denied pressing any criminal charges against anyone in his death because there wasn’t enough evidence. But a new video turned up by KIRO 7 in Seattle shows Saffioti questioning what he was being fed to guards who had medical files on him.
The video has sparked a notice of a $10 lawsuit from Saffioti’s mother, who now says the state was completely aware of what was going on and did nothing to prevent it. “”Our theory is that they absolutely knew about Michael’s medical needs,” Cheryl Snow, the attorney for Saffioti’s mother, told the news outlet.
At the time of the initial investigation in January 2013, prosecutors said that an investigation by the Snohomiish County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit determined in a 400-page report that nobody was to blame for Saffioti’s death.
“I’m not going to file any criminal charges because I don’t believe a crime was committed,” Snohomish County Prosecutor Mark Roe said at the time. He also seemingly dared Saffioti’s family to look further into it, if they wanted: “If (the family) brings forth any additional information or wants us to consider other information, we can always reopen the case,” Roe said at the time.
The video that has surfaced thanks to an open records request by the news station shows that after asking a guard at a computer (that can access files on inmates) what was in his breakfast, Saffioti taokes a few bites of oatmeal before having a near-instant reaction. He then re-approaches guards while using his inhaler to ask for medical treatment that Snow now says guards denied and instead sent him back to his cell where he eventually collapsed.
Inmates on the scene said that the guards took away Saffioti’s inhaler at one point and turn off an emergency alarm because they were annoyed with the dying man. A half-hour later, another guard found him and finally called in nurses and firemen to help.
But it was too late.
At the time, Saffioti’s mother said her son’s milk allergy wasn’t brought up in the report, but clearly the report was lacking. The county also allegedly told her that the video never existed, despite several court documents referencing it.
Below, check out KIRO 7’s report: