'Harrowing neglect, torture': Father to RT on son who starved to death in custody
“It is so harrowing and so ridiculous the amount of neglect, torture,” Frederick Farris, Keaton’s father said.
“We would like to see all inmates receive proper medical attention, food, water, that’s needed to be healthy, and be monitored and checked on a reasonable amount [of time],” the father added.
Farris mentioned that his son had received just 20 percent of the water needed by someone to survive, let alone live a healthy life. The water supply to his cell had been shut off because Keaton had previously put a pillow in the toilet, which caused his cell to flood.
“This blatant disregard, they treated him like a subhuman. My theory was that he was crying out for help because no one was checking up on him,” Keaton said, mentioning that his 25-year-old son was “compassionate and had a great smile.”
Keaton had been taken to Island County jail on March 26 after being arrested for failing to appear in a Washington State court. He had originally been detained for allegedly trying to cash a check for $335, which was not made out to him.
However, 19 days after he was taken into custody, Keaton, who was diagnosed as being bi-polar around two years ago, died in a jail cell on April 8 as a result of dehydration and malnutrition, according to the Coroner’s report.
Island County Sheriff Mark Brown told the Farris family “I am truly sorry for this tragic death,” in his report. “Our highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our inmates and staff and this report describes a systematic breakdown of policies, procedures and communication that led to this tragedy.”
The report added that staff at the facility had lied about the number of times that officers had checked up on Keaton, while he did not receive enough food, water or medication.
Jail records show that Keaton was experiencing extreme mental health problems behind bars. He refused to communicate with prison staff, and a doctor who evaluated him said he became “quite psychotic.” He was also restrained and tasered while held in police custody.
His parents were denied visitation with their son. They said jail staff told them a visit would “aggravate” Keaton, according to King 5 News.