An Alachua County Jail inmate claims staff ignored her pleas for help as she gave birth and their negligence led to her newborn’s death.
Alachua County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Erica Thompson, 25, for two active warrants on Monday. While in custody at the Alachua County Jail, Thompson went into premature labor and gave birth Tuesday. First responders transported her to UF Shands Hospital, where the baby, Ava, later died.
“Alachua County Jail is responsible for all of my pain and suffering physically and mentally and they’re responsible for the death of my daughter,” Thompson posted on social media. “I’m so hurt and and just still in disbelief that I had to have my child in jail in my bunk all by myself.”
Thompson also said that UF Health Shands Hospital allegedly could have saved her baby when she arrived, but says they did nothing, according to her post.
“They didn’t try to put her in an incubator or save her or anything. As soon as I got there they had her in a crib and said my baby wasn’t going to survive,” Thompson said. “My baby is in my arms still moving, heart pumping — Why aren’t you all trying to save her? She died hours later. My baby could have been saved.”
Given patient privacy laws, (UF Shands) cannot comment on specific cases, said hospital spokesperson Ken Garcia in response to a request for comment.
ASO spokesperson Kaley Behl said in a phone interview that the Alachua County Jail must meet the standards for both the National Commission on Correctional Health Care and the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission.
“They are very specific for both medical and pharmaceutical requirements,” she said. “We take the custody of our inmates very seriously and want to make sure they have the correct healthcare when needed.”
According to the ASO Facebook posting on Aug. 10, an investigation is underway to review video footage.
“A lot of people are asking, ‘How could this happen?’ I can assure you that our investigation will show we did our due diligence and show both accounts of what happened,” said Behl. “We want to show we are being fully transparent.”
The Independent Florida Alligator reported that about 50 people protested outside the Alachua County Jail Wednesday afternoon, including Thompson and the baby’s father.
A GoFundMe page link was posted on the Florida Prisoner Solidarity Facebook page stating that Thompson’s baby was murdered due to the jail’s neglect.
The ASO Facebook post said Thompson was arrested for charges of felony violation of probation and failure to appear on traffic charges.