“The evidence does not support a federal criminal civil rights prosecution.”
That’s what the government has told Macomb County officials after investigating the death of David Stojcevski.
Stojcevski died in 2014, after a 16-day stint in the Macomb County jail, where he had been serving 30 days on a reckless driving charge.
The cause of death: “acute withdrawal” from prescription drugs.
Harrowing video recorded in the run-up to his death showed Stojcevski behaving erratically and growing visibly emaciated during that time.
But Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham says that video doesn’t reveal “all the facts” in the case, many of which still haven’t been publicly revealed.
“Boy would I love to comment to get all the facts out there, but I can’t because there’s a civil suit,” Wickersham said, “But I can tell you that all the facts were presented to the FBI during this investigation.”
That federal civil lawsuit was filed by Stojcevski’s brother, Vladimir. The family’s lawyer, Robert Ihrie, says the decision not to file federal criminal charges won’t affect that case.
Wickersham also wouldn’t be specific about policy changes, but says some things have changed at the jail since Stojcevski’s death.
“Our medical provider [Correct Care Solutions, a contractor] seems to be erring more on the side of caution, and we are sending more individuals to the hospital,” said Wickersham.
The county did hire consultants to take a year-long study of the “whole criminal justice system,” and how to best utilize its resources.
“Let’s face it, our population is a sick population, it’s an addicted population. And there’s a lot of inmates that have mental health issues,” Wickersham said.
“We are looking at solutions about how to better do our job, and prevent these kinds of situations from happening. But sometimes, they do happen.”
Wickersham said the county will share recommendations from that study at the start of 2017.