Elderly Florida Inmate Dies After Being Forcibly Removed From Cell

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A 75-year-old inmate at the Orange County jail died after officers forcibly removed him from his cell.

The incident happened in November 2016 and newly released video shows officers tackling William Howard to the ground.

Days later, Howard died and his death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.

The autopsy report shows Howard suffered fractured vertebrae, a crushed spinal cord, brain swelling and cardiac arrest one day after he was shoved to the ground.

In the video, officers can be heard repeatedly asking Howard to come to the door of his cell and they warn him force will be used if he does not cooperate.

After Howard’s death, an investigation led to one medical staff member being terminated.

“You took no action, performed no exam and filed no documentation on this patient,” wrote Medical Director Robert Buck in a memo.

Two other staff members were reprimanded.

The State Attorney’s office reviewed the case and determined no criminal charges should be filed.

Howard’s family released a statement, saying they believe officers were too aggressive.

“The sudden and unexpected, tragic death of our mother’s loving husband of 47 years, William Howard, has devastated our family,” the statement reads.

Howard was arrested after attacking his wife with a shovel, hammer and knife. She was stabbed multiple times and survived.

Howard’s family tells WESH 2 News he had a nervous breakdown.

This is not the first inmate death investigation in recent history at the Orange County Corrections Facility.

In 2015, Max Gracia, 22, was bitten by a police dog and taken into custody.

Gracia was found dead in his cell after his wound became infected. A nurse resigned and the jail modified some policied.

The Gracia family attorney tells WESH 2 News they plan to file a lawsuit soon.