Inmate Armando Gutierrez Died In Custody At Dallas County Jail
DALLAS COUNTY, TEXAS (November 10, 2023) - A 49-year-old inmate identified as Armando Gutierrez has tragically died following a medical emergency at a Dallas County jail.
Dallas County officials are saying that the incident took place on November 8. Armando Gutierrez was in custody at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Hutchins.
Law enforcement placed him in handcuffs for reasons that remain unknown at this time. At some point, officers noticed that the inmate was in medical distress.
Despite life-saving measures, Armando Gutierrez was pronounced dead by medical staff. A full investigation into the Dallas County in-custody death remains ongoing a this time.
Liability For Dallas County In-Custody Deaths
In-custody deaths remain commonplace across Texas and the United States. Many of these deaths occur while inmates or suspects are physically restrained. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 20% of in-custody deaths involve instances where officers either restrained the victim or placed them in a prone position. Any type of physical restraint can exasperate the health conditions that an inmate has and make them more susceptible to dying. There are a number of steps that law enforcement should take to prevent suspects from dying.
- Jails and police departments should employ “use of force continuum” that outlines what levels of force are appropriate for different situations. In general, law enforcement should always start by using the least amount of force for a given situation.
- Correctional officers should get an inmate medical care as early as possible if they are showing signs of medical distress.
- Correctional officers should continuously monitor suspects and inmates.
- Correctional officers should be trained to understand when an inmate may be going through a drug overdose. The rise of dangerous opioids such as fentanyl have coincided with a sharp rise of inmate deaths.
All jails have a legal obligation to provide inmates with healthcare for their medical needs. Care should be provided throughout a person’s incarceration. This begins when an inmate is first admitted. They should get a health screening to reveal any illnesses that may require more extensive treatment. If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many ways a jail may have contributed to an in-custody death.
- Jail officials may have kept an inmate in a prone position which restricted their breathing.
- Jail officials may have failed to get an inmate timely care in the event of a medical emergency.
- Jail officials may have failed to follow the instructions of medical staff.
There is rarely any single event that caused an in-custody death. Rather, in-custody deaths are much more likely to occur when jails are overcrowded. They also tend to happen when correctional officers fail to follow safety protocols. It is important for inmates and their families to understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating Dallas County In-Custody Deaths
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Armando Gutierrez. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to authorities. The sheer number of jail deaths across Dallas County is deeply concerning. State officials need to do their part and implement measures to prevent additional tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Dallas County in-custody death? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are upholding constitutional standards. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.