5 prison guards fired over inmate who died after vomiting into mask

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ANGIE, La. (AP) – Five Louisiana prison guards have been fired after one of them was found to have beaten an inmate who later died after vomiting into a spit mask.

The Advocate reports 55-year-old Anthony Carl Smith was found unresponsive in his cell on March 10. The officers’ termination letters say, Smith, who was convicted of rape and kidnapping, was suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems when he asked for medical attention that day.

The letters say it was then that a “use of force” happened and Smith was outfitted with a spit mask, later found filled with vomit. The autopsy and prison report show Smith died from inhalation of gastric content. The officers were fired in August.

They have a joint hearing this month. Their attorney, William Arata, declined to comment.

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