Hampton Roads Regional Jail releases over 12 hours of footage recorded before 24-year-old’s death

Posted at 11:09 AM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-23 21:12:21-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Hampton Roads Regional Jail released over 12 hours of video taken from inside the jail the day Jamycheal Mitchell died over a year ago.

Interim Superintendent Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe is temporarily running the jail and said he wants to be more transparent with the public.

He admits there have been problems with communication and he blames the jail.

Jamycheal Mitchell

Jamycheal Mitchell

“This is a self-inflicted wound that we've done to ourselves by not communicating,” said McCabe.

In the newly released video you see the guards doing their rounds.

A lawsuit claims the Mitchell withered away in jail after being locked up for stealing $5 worth of food. The jail previously said the staff was professional and caring towards Mitchell.

Portsmouth NAACP President James Boyd expressed outrage that no was fired as a result of this case and telling McCabe that he was concerned and disappointed by the lack of transparency released regarding this case.

McCabe fired back saying a lawsuit prevent him from speaking out about the situation.

“You think you're frustrated, we’re frustrated. We'd love to be able to say, hey this is what happened. I think for the most part, our security staff, for the most part, did a good job,” said McCabe.

The Virginia Attorney General requested a federal investigation into the jail after the death of another inmate, Henry Stewart died in early August.

His family got a grievance form sent home with his belongings which stated he was begging for medical attention before dying.

Sheriff McCabe would not give specifics on the cases Friday, but said operational changes are coming.

“Looking at some reconstruction of the jail staff, looking at ways that the medical services are delivered,” said McCabe.

He said he should be able to provide more information about the Stewart case in one week.

Sheriff McCabe said he is working to improve issues with communication.

“Not only has there been a problem with communication with the media, with the public. There are some breakdowns with communication between medical staff, not following up on things, not returning phone calls and things like that,” said McCabe.

McCabe took over about two weeks ago after the attorney general requested a federal investigation into the jail.

McCabe is holding these meeting weekly as a way to open up communication.

The Hampton Roads Regional Jail was designed to house people who are sick or mentally ill.

McCabe said between 70 and 80 percent of the people in the jail are sick or mentally ill. They are sent from all over Hampton Roads.

He said some of them get between $8,000 and $10,000 worth of medicine a month.

During a press conference Friday, McCabe spoke with members of the media and also had a heated exchange with a local NAACP president.

Tune in to News 3 at Noon for more from the press conference.


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