A Father’s Fight for Justice After His Son’s Death in Hennepin County Jail


A guy from Minnesota is accusing the federal government because he says jail staff didn’t give his son medical care, which is what killed him. Travis Bellamy, who is 41 years old, was caught on July 18, 2022, and taken to the Hennepin County Jail. In the days that followed, Bellamy would beg jail staff for help. After three days, he was dead. Bellamy told the staff that he had taken a bag of drugs when he was put into jail. The claim says that he was taken to a nearby hospital’s emergency room put to sleep and watched for several hours before being sent back to jail.

The claim said that hospital staff told Bellamy to be watched and told to go back to the emergency room if any new symptoms appeared. The claim says Bellamy started to show new signs the next few days and could hardly stand. Just after midnight on July 20, Bellamy got sick and started throwing up. He was then moved from a cell with other people to a cell with only one person, the lawsuit said.

Records from the court show that Bellamy was not eating much and turning down food. That night, his situation got worse. The claim said that when the nurse came to check on him, he was in a lot of pain and could barely stand up. He had to crawl on the floor to be seen by the nurse.

The claim says Bellamy was told to sit at a table, but he fell to the ground face-first. The claim said the nurse refused to take him to the hospital when he asked. At about 1:30 a.m. on July 21, Bellamy called a jail worker over a speaker. “Help me, help me,” he screamed, the claim said. When the worker got to Bellamy’s cell, he saw him lying on the ground in a fetal position and said, “Help me, my stomach hurts bad.”

She wrote in her chart that Bellamy was crying while he was on his knees with his head on the floor when she checked on him. The court records show that Bellamy said, “I need to go to the hospital, please help me.” The claim said that the worker and nurse never helped Bellamy get up and did not take him to the hospital. He was “able to stand up, walk outside his cell, sit up, and sit still for vital signs taking,” the nurse wrote. The claim said that Bellamy passed out again while a nurse was taking his vital signs.

After about an hour, he asked to see the nurse again. According to the claim, the nurse’s notes showed that she thought Bellamy was lying about being in pain. The claim says that Bellamy fell again and was left on the ground by workers.

He was seen by a nurse around 8:40 a.m., and she gave him medicine to help with his stomach pain. The case does say that he spilled a lot of the medicine on the floor while trying to take it, though, because he was in so much pain. Not given anymore, he was left in his cell and had to crawl to his bed in pain. “At times he could be seen smiling and laughing while interacting with other individuals while Lucas suffered on the floor,” the lawsuit said of the jail guard who was there. The jail guard found Bellamy face down in his cell around 12:30 p.m. It was said that he was dead at 1:17 p.m. The claim says that the staff “left Lucas to die in a filthy cell.”

“Lucas wasn’t how he died. He wasn’t his drug of choice. His sister Sarah Bellamy told MPR News, “He had a beautiful soul, and the good and bad things in the world often overwhelmed his sensitive heart.” It says in the court papers that Bellamy died of peritonitis due to a duodenal rupture. This means that he “died from an infection because there was a hole in his small intestine.” The claim says it would have been easy to treat with the right medical care. Louis Bellamy filed the case in U.S. District Court on January 23. It names Hennepin County, Hennepin Healthcare, and some people.

McClatchy News asked Hennepin County and Hennepin Healthcare for their thoughts. Both refused to say anything because they were still being sued, but they did offer their respects to Bellamy’s family. Colleen Bellamy, Lucas Bellamy’s mother, has said that someone else killed her son. At a news conference on January 23, she told reporters, “These people in charge of his life knew and deliberately chose not to do anything to help him in his moment of crisis, and it was clear to everyone that he was in crisis.” The case is asking for damages of an unknown amount. The family also wants the death of Bellamy to be looked into further.

A lawyer for the family, Jeff Storms, told MPR News, “There are systemic problems here, and the family wants accountability and justice for Lucas’ death.” “But the family also wants to ensure that no one else goes through this.”

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