Young man dies of drug overdose in Boston police lockup


No medical treatment for prisoner despite signs of impairment

October 31, 2019
Kathy Curran

Stilphen is the second man who has died of a drug overdose at the District 4 police station in recent months. Cristhian Geigel overdosed and died in May. A third man was rushed to a hospital on the same morning Stilphen died, but the cause of his death in that case is still unknown.

The deaths have sparked a renewed call for a regional pre-court lockup in Suffolk County run by the sheriff that would offer medical screenings at intake. Gross supports that idea.

Elizabeth Matos, executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services, said a regional lockup with medical screenings is an improvement, but not the solution. Counties also struggle to keep drugs out of jails and prisoners safe, she said.

“I think we’re putting too much responsibility on our officers to deal with the incredibly difficult problem that really, they’re not equipped to handle,” Matos said.

According to the State Medical Examiner Office, 23 people have died of unnatural causes in Massachusetts lockups, jails and prisons since 2018. Nine of those people died from drug overdoses.

“We need the city and the state and our governor to really treat this like a top priority,” Matos said.

Read the transcript or watch the segment here