MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – For the first time since the story broke, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham is speaking about the death of a Macomb County Jail inmate.
Wickersham is adamant that his deputies did what they were supposed to do.
David Stojcevski, 32, died in June 2014 while he was in custody at the Macomb County Jail to serve a 30-day careless driving sentence. The Local 4 Defenders obtained the 240 hours of in-cell video that shows Stojcevski expressing signs of drug withdrawals.
"I want the residents of Macomb County to know that our office is truly committed to providing a professional service to all members of our county that they come in contact with," said the sheriff.
Stojcevski lost close to 50 pounds in 17 days, but Wickersham said it's not his deputies' fault. Their job is to notify medical staff of an inmate in medical trouble. The sheriff said they did that on numerous occasions. He predicts an FBI investigation, which was announced this week, will go nowhere.
"They inquired. They had asked. I offered, I encouraged, I welcomed the doors opened up -- come on in. Take a look at the investigation, and see if we did anything wrong," said Wickersham.
The sheriff said private contractor CCS is in charge or deciding if an inmate needs to go to the hospital. In this case, they never did, Wickersham said. He said the video of Stojcevski without understanding the the jail process is misleading and makes his deputies look bad.
"We have received many emails, letters, calls condoning us, threatening us, telling our staff to quit," said the sheriff.
Wickersham admits he has not watched the 240 hours of video and would not comment on why no one went into the cell to check on Stojcevski in his final 44 hours of life. He did confirm the deputies were watching on video monitors and went inside the cell as Stojcevski was taking his last breaths.
"As sheriff I can take that criticism. That's part of my job. But that criticism is not justified for our deputies, whether they work inside the jail or on the road," said Wickersham.
Attorneys for the CCS medical staff still are not commenting on the lawsuit.
The attorney representing the Stojcevski family released the following statement after Thursday's news conference: