RACINE, Wis. - A new video released from the Racine County sheriff's Office shows the moments leading up to an inmate's death. Authorities say 27-year-old Malcolm James was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time. However, his family's attorney says it was the "deputys' actions" that resulted in his death. Warning: This video may be disturbing to watch for some viewers.
In the body camera video-- Malcolm James is under suicide watch in a high-visibility cell. What you hear is one of the jail's staff members trying to calm James down -- as he repeatedly bumps his head against the wall.
"Malcolm, can you please have a seat? Please? So you can stop hitting your head, I don't want you to hurt yourself. So can you have a seat? Malcolm. Malcolm! Sergeant!"
27-year-old Malcolm James was arrested on May 29 for arson and 14 counts of recklessly endangering safety. Placed on suicide watch in a high-visibility cell, authorities say James tried several times to harm himself. After being treated in a hospital, he was taken back to jail. Three days later, on June 1, authorities said he once again began "smashing his head into a concrete wall." While being evaluated by staff, authorities say James experienced "a medical event" which led him to be unresponsive. He was pronounced dead.
The James' family attorney says an independent autopsy disputes that claim.
Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said he did not plan to share video from inside the jail -- but felt the need to release it to clear up any misinformation.
James was the second inmate to die in the Racine County Jail that week.
The other inmate was found unresponsive in his cell.