After Officials Ignored Her Pain, Lamekia Dockery Predicted Her Own Jail Cell Death: “I’m Going To Die Here”

by Brianna Moné Williams

February 1, 2019

Photo by Bill Gentile/Getty

Lamekia Dockery died while in the prison system on July 31, 2018, but her story is just now seeing the light. For six days, she complained of excruciating pain and was provided with no medical assistance from anyone at the Elkhart Community Corrections work-release facility in Goshen, Indiana.

In an investigative account by The New York Times, there were many accounts where Dockery’s needs were recorded, but not reported to someone who could help her. One corrections officer’s log read: “Offender Dockery stated to me around 0800 at the front counter that she was having stomach pains for 2 days and wanted to go to the hospital.” After asking for medical attention several times due to vomiting, moaning in pain, and screaming, according to internal emails and logs, she was punished and sent to solitary confinement. When she kicked a door in protest, she was chained up.

Lamekia was sent to the center for violating her probation on a shoplifting conviction.

Being a drug user and black woman, the 36-year-old was disregarded as a someone who matters. “I am pretty sure she is going through withdrawals,” said Dockery’s work-release coordinator in an email written to seven other employees at the facility. “She claims she hasn’t ate since she has been here, which is probably why her stomach hurts.”

And due to failing a drug test on arrival at Elkhart, officers dismissed her complaints, although she was in withdrawal. According to James P. Elliott, the Elkhart County coroner, she died of sepsis, which was most likely caused by a perforated ulcer in her intestine.

For the days leading up to the mother of five’s death, she vomited, laid sprawled out in the fetal position, and ate nothing due to her discomfort. To try to relieve her pain, some staff members reportedly gave an Alka-Seltzer, according to The Post, and her fellow inmates pulled their money together to purchase Tylenol from a vending machine for her. Even in the midst of trying to assist her, one inmate recalled that Lamekia knew of her fate: “She kept saying, ‘I’m going to die here.'”

It’s unfortunate, but Dockery is not the first black woman to suffer at the hands of the prison system. Say her name: Sandra Bland. Watch part of her story below:

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