Luzerne County seeking options to conduct independent review in Shaheen Mackey case

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — There are late breaking developments in the case of a man who died two days after an incident inside the Luzerne County Prison.

41-year-old Shaheen Mackey died at a hospital in June of 2018. Many are looking for answers about the circumstances surrounding his death. Luzerne County officials confirm they are in the process of looking at options that will result in an independent review of the case.

Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri tells Eyewitness News this is all about transparency. The county wants to remove any doubt as to what happened that day inside the Luzerne County Prison. They are right now in the process of looking at options that will result in an independent review of the case to make recommendations, and those findings will be made public.

Mackey was brought to the Luzerne County Prison on the afternoon of June 6, 2018. He was at the prison for about five hours. During that time an incident took place in which prison officials say Mackey had to be restrained. Mackey became unresponsive, C.P.R was performed on him inside the prison and he was rushed to a hospital. He died two days later.

A forensic pathologist ruled he died from natural causes and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office conducted an investigation and cleared the corrections officers of any wrongdoing.

In June of this year, the county reached a $3 million settlement with the Mackey family in the death. The family had filed a federal civil rights lawsuit arguing that Mackey suffered from a seizure disorder and instead of receiving medical attention, corrections officers used physical force to restrain him.

Last week the family posted a 23-minute video clip of the incident on social media. Eyewitness News has been trying to obtain the full video recording, which the family’s attorney and county officials tell us runs about an hour. The family said it would release the video to us, as has their attorney but we have not yet obtained the full video clip.

And Pedri tells us this independent review will not involve criminal wrongdoing. Pedri says he will release more details tomorrow about this review.

The Mackey death has also been brought to the attention of the state attorney general’s office by the president of the Wilkes-Barre chapter of the NAACP.

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