Tape Shows Jailers Ignored, Taunted Dying Prisoner

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A black man who swallowed cocaine when he was arrested died after jailers ignored his pleas for help and taunted him in a three-hour ordeal captured by a jail surveillance camera.

Two sheriff’s deputies were fired and five others were disciplined.

Anderson Tate moaned, thrashed and chanted prayers for more than three hours while bound to a chair Dec. 3 at the St. Lucie County Jail. Jail employees and deputies walked past him, one of them making fun of him.

“I don’t want to die. I’m burning up,” he said on the videotape footage released Wednesday. “I’m 300 degrees. I’ve got too much cocaine in my system.”


State prosecutors are investigating and will decide whether to bring criminal charges against the officers. Six of the officers are white; the other is Latino.

Tate had been pulled over for not having a license plate and driving without a valid license. He apparently swallowed some cocaine he was carrying when he was arrested, but initially refused medical treatment, officials said.