Man dies in Westland jail from ingesting cocaine, family says police refused help

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Witnesses say William Marshall died in jail begging for help. His family is now asking the question why didn't he get it?

"I'm letting you know why they're not going to release the video until they're forced to - because it's going to be one sick sight," said attorney Karri Mitchell.

Mitchell surrounded by the father, brother, fiancé and children of Marshall, 35, the man who died after being held in the Westland jail.

He had been pulled over for a suspended license and was found with marijuana and cocaine on Dec. 10 and was taken into custody.

"He died because he was refused medical attention," said Mitchell.

Mitchell says William Marshall had ingested cocaine and he was sick. EMS was called and paramedics wanted to transport him.

"Your own EMS technician said I need to take this person to the hospital," Mitchell said.

But police decided to monitor William Marshall instead. Attorney Mitchell says maybe they thought he was faking it but Marshall continued to plead for help.

"This is kind of like egregious to the nth power," the attorney said. "This young man was begging - holding on to the cell - with his hands begging to be taken to the hospital and he was kicked by the officers - his hands were kicked loose from the cell."

It was a scene witnessed by other inmates who were in the cell with Marshall.

"They repeatedly kicked his hands came off the door," said his cellmate. "They kicked the door shut."

"The eyewitness also indicated that as Mr. Marshall was laying on the ground maybe dead already, the officer came with two tickets and said here's your tickets, get up. He was dead and he was trying to hand him two tickets."

It is a tragedy that's left this family devastated.

"(He was) a happy-go lucky, funny type person that didn't deserve this at all," said Kaliece Simms, Marshall's fiancé.

"What's ridiculous about it is that it was preventable," said Mitchell. "All they had to do was let EMS take him to the doctor."

Marshall leaves behind a daughter who turned 16 a week after her father died, a son who turns 15 Wednesday, the day before his father's funeral and two other daughters.
The family is demanding to see the video from inside the jail and the EMS report - to find out just what happened to William Marshall.

"Show us the video," Mitchell said. "If they didn't do anything wrong - show us the video.

"The chief of police is on record saying he's going to be transparent -well the family say - okay - if you're transparent just release the video."

The Westland police chief told FOX 2 eventually that video will be released - but not until Michigan State Police conduct their investigation. The chief did meet with the family last week to discuss their concerns.