Commission finds discrimination in inmate death
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) -- The Montana Human Rights Commission has found law
enforcement officers in Hill and Blaine counties showed "discriminatory indifference” to
an 18-year-old inmate who died of acute alcohol withdrawal after jailers failed to fill two
prescriptions and administer the drugs.
The Great Falls Tribune reports the commission's 4-1 decision overturned a
ruling by Hearings Officer Terry Spear, who said the offic
ers did not discriminate against A.J. Longsoldier Jr. on the basis of his race o
r the disability of alcoholism. The commission said Longsoldier was discriminated
against based on his disability.
The commission's remand order, filed last week, returns the case to Spear to
determine the measures needed to rectify the harm caused by the unlawful
discrimination against Longsoldier, who died at a Havre hospital in November 2009.