It was supposed to be simple.
David Stojcevski couldn't pay a $772 fine for a traffic ticket that had turned into an obstruction-of-justice charge, so the 32-year-old would spend a cool 30 days in jail instead.
However, 16 days later, on June 27, 2014, Stojcevski, a drug addict, was dead, 50 pounds lighter, lying naked on his jail cell's floor after suffering an "excruciatingly painful and slow" withdrawal from his addiction medication, NBC reports. This, despite the fact that his Macomb County Jail cell in Detroit was monitored 24 hours a day by surveillance camera. The graphic footage shows the inmate naked, seemingly convulsing and hallucinating in his final hours.
"This is shameful, substantial and unconscionable neglect," said Robert Ihrie, senior partner at the law firm that is handling a lawsuit against the county on behalf of the Stojcevski family, according to CBS Detroit.
The family is seeking a "substantial amount" from the county in the wrongful death suit.
Stojcevski, it was confirmed, died of benzodiazepine withdrawal. He was on Xanax, among other medications, including a daily dose of 60 mg of methadone, which CBS notes is normally used to help recovering heroin addicts. The medication was listed on his intake forms, the lawsuit claims.
"He had a potential for withdrawal," the suit states.
"They know their son had made some mistakes in judgment over the years but … never in their wildest imaginations did they ever think that their son would be carried out essentially in a body bag," Ihrie told NBC News.
The lawsuit names Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, 16 deputies, prison health care provider Correct Care Solutions and a number of mental-health workers as defendants in the case.
Stojcevski, CBS reports, was moved between a jail cell and a mental-health unit several times. On June 21, Stojcevski had asked about his medication and was told "medication has not been ordered at this time," the suit says.
"All of the named defendants herein were so deliberately indifferent to David's mental health and medical needs that the defendants, named and unnamed in this litigation, monitored, watched and observed David spend the final 10 days of his life suffering excruciating benzodiazepine-withdrawal symptoms," the suit states.
"YOU WILL NEVER EVER BE FORGOTTEN. I AM SO HAPPY THAT THE REAL ST0RY IS OUT, AND NOW LET GOD PUNISH THESE INHUMANE , HEARTLESS, SOCIOPATHS FACE THE MUSIC. ITS TIME SOMEONE STANDS UP AND IS THE VOICE BEHIND THIS AND YOU KNOW I WILL NOTTT STOP UNTIL WE GET TO THE F’N VERY BOTTOM OF IT, OR TO THE VERY TOP OF IT. SHAME ON YOU ANIMALS!!!" Stojcevski's brother, Vladimir, who filed the lawsuit, posted on the memorial page for Stojcevski at the funeral home that handled his arrangements, according to CBS Detroit.
Editor’s note: Warning: Video contains graphic content.