(LAS VEGAS KXNT)–A prominent Las Vegas attorney has entered the case of a Clark County Detention Center inmate who died nine days after a scuffle with jailers.
Matthew Callister tells KXNT he believes a video exists of the struggle between four corrections officers and jailed drug suspect Luis Solano. After jailers say they subdued Solano, they noticed he was unconscious and was having trouble breathing.
Taken to UMC, he died nine days later of what Callister has been told by doctors was a series of epileptic seizures that had followed a heart attack.
A full coroner’s report on the cause and manner of death, including toxicology and tissue tests is not complete, but Callister told KXNT he has learned from the coroner that Solano died from what is called positional asphyxia, meaning that he suffocated because of the position he was in. Callister speculates he could have been because of a baton or object placed on Solano’s neck.
Solano was 38. He was originally arrested in a drug raid. His family concedes he was in the drug trade but was not a user. Calister says Solano had a longstanding heart condition and did not appear to have been given proper access to his medication while incarcerated.
Calister says not reponded to questions about a video. “We have asked and asked and asked”, said the attorney, “and we have received nothing from anyone, either confirming or denying the existence of the video.” He’s written a letter demanding that authorities preserve and not destroy any evidence pertinent to the struggle.
Calister says this is but the latest in a series of deaths at the Detention Center, in addition to a number of high-profile deadly force encounters between Metro Police and suspects.
“A total lack of transparency after our newly-elected Sheriff and District Attorney both promised there would be a major change in transparency”, said Calister.
Calister says he will likely to have to file suit in order to obtain video evidence from the county.
Solano was first incarcerated on February 21st following a raid by detectives and SWAT team members at his apartment. Two days later, Callister says, Solano was calling friends and family to bring him his medication for a heart condition and diabetes. The scuffle with jailers followed a day later. Solano died at UMC March 6th