Jail accused of ignoring "medically-vulnerable" inmate's pleas before he died

Family sues jail over inmate death

The above video includes footage that may be disturbing to watch.

The family of an Arkansas man is suing the jail he died in, claiming he was denied adequate medical care.

Michael Sabbie died in 2015, just days after he was locked up at the bi-state justice center. He had been arrested over a verbal dispute with his wife.

Sabbie's attorney gave CBS News videos from inside the jail that appear to show the state he was in about 12 hours before he was found dead. CBS News hasn't been able to independently confirm the videos.

Sabbie's family says the jail knew he had serious medical conditions and failed to get him proper help when he was clearly struggling, reports CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca.

Surveillance video given to CBS News from Sabbie's attorney appears to show a security guard at the justice center throw Sabbie to the ground.

According to the lawsuit, Sabbie wasn't feeling well and had stopped to lean against the wall before attempting to enter the booking area to make a phone call.

A second video, taken by a jail employee, purportedly shows what happens after Sabbie is on the floor.

He's held down by six guards and pepper-sprayed, brought to a jail nurse for less than a minute, rinsed off and returned to his cell.

During the nine-and-a-half minute video, Sabbie says he can't breathe at least 19 times and asks for water.
 
The next morning, jail guards found the 35-year-old dead on his jail cell floor.
 
"He is a medically-vulnerable person. So he reported at intake that he had hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and asthma," said Erik Heipt, who is representing Sabbie's family in the lawsuit against the jail filed earlier this week.

The suit claims jail staff didn't give Sabbie his medications, ignored his labored breathing and used excessive force.
 
LaSalle Corrections runs this privately-owned jail – and 17 other facilities across four states.

They said they do not make comments on pending litigation, but told a local news station last October that they comply with Texas Jail Commission standards.
 
Heipt says the family wants justice and answers for the father of four.
 
"They want to expose what happened in the hopes that this sort of thing doesn't happen to anyone else," Heipt said.

According to jail protocol, somebody was supposed to check on Sabbie every 30 minutes overnight. The suit claims that a guard said she did and then later admitted to lying.