Flashpoint: Experts talk Macomb jail death, Pope's visit

Panel discusses current state of presidential race


DETROIT – Sunday's episode of Flashpoint began with the sad story of David Stojcevski, who died in a Macomb County Jail cell after being sentenced to 30 days because he couldn't afford to pay the fine for traffic tickets.

Local 4 Defender Kevin Dietz joined Devin Scillian to talk about the case.

Kevin said the video is extremely hard to watch and talked about how Stojcevski couldn't even move for the last 48 hours of his life. He said it's hard to understand why nobody who saw him in this state helped him before he died. But he also said it's not easy to be a guard in the jail.

"It's a very difficult job to work as a guard in that jail," Kevin said. "There's mental health issues, there's addiction problems, there's some bad people in there."

Kevin said that because Stojcevski was in jail for a nonviolent crime and needed doctor prescribed medications, he should have been given that treatment.

The officials believe that they gave the proper care to Stojcevski and think they can win in a legal battle. But Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel does know this shouldn't be happening in the jail and plans to examine the handling of nonviolent criminals.

Click on the video above to watch the entire conversation with Kevin.

In the second segment, the Flashpoint panel chimed in on the Macomb County Jail death case.

Portia Roberson said she doesn't believe authorities handled Stojcevski's case correctly. She said somebody has to be in position to know when it's time to call medical personnel.

"They're still people, you can't forget that they're still human beings," said Nolan Finley of the Detroit News. He said the videos of Stojcevski tell the story.

Jack Lessenberry, Metro Times columnist, talked about corrections officials and mental health officials.

Paul Welday, a republican strategist, also talked about the problems that seem to arise from the handling of this incident.

Devin also asked the panel about John Boehner stepping down as Speaker of the House and Ohio Congressman. The panel talked about the reaction to Boehner's decision from both republicans and democrats and possible consequences of finding his replacement.

You can watch the full conversation in the video posted below.


After the break, Welday talked about a possible replacement for Boehner before the conversation moved on to Pope Francis' visit to the United States.

Lessenberry called the Pope a "pro-life democrat" and Finley said it seems like the Pope is working to bring people back to a church that went through a very bad period with sex abuse issues and financial crises.

Welday said the Pope seems to inspire hope to people, whether or not they agree or disagree with some of his political stances.

Finley said people can resonate with the Pope because he's speaking from the streets, not the mountaintop.

The panel also touched on the presidential race. Welday said Donald Trump has likely already peaked and that the Republican Party will come down to just three or four candidates.

Finley said people are waiting to see what the race will look like before they choose sides.

Roberson said the dynamics of the Democratic race would change drastically if Joe Biden joined in, but she doesn't think it's likely that he will.

You can watch the third segment in the video posted below.