Reports Reveal Terrill Thomas Was Tortured in Milwaukee County Jail Before His Death


Sheriff David Clarke, Jr., of Milwaukee County, Wis., salutes the audience before his speech at the National Rifle Association convention Friday, May 20, 2016, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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When his son died in police custody last year, TJ Thomas wasn’t told of the torturous circumstances surrounding the 38-year-old’s untimely demise. He didn’t know that Terrill Thomas, who was being held in the Milwaukee County Jail , run by national headline making Sheriff David Clarke , on shooting charges, had been kept in solitary confinement and suffered an agonizing week without any water before dying.

“They didn’t give him water,” TJ Thomas told NBC News Tuesday. “He needed water.” Terrill Thomas had been in solitary confinement for seven days in April of 2016 when he died of “profound dehydration” in the early hours of the eighth day, Erik Heipt, an attorney representing Thomas’ estate told NBC News. “In jail you have the right to make a call,”TJ Thomas told NBC News. “We didn’t hear from them from the time he was arrested until his death.”

On Monday, an inquest into Thomas’ death began as prosecutors decide whether or not any jail staffers should be criminally charged for turning off the water in his cell, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported. The inquest allows prosecutors to question witnesses under oath before a jury as they decide what legal charges should or could be filed.

The Journal Sentinel said the prosecution has not indicated who they are considering charging in Terrill Thomas’ death.

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