Inmate: ‘I have homicidal outbursts’

By Ed Lewis - [email protected]
Mackey -

WILKES-BARRE — Friends and family question whether Shaheen Mackey was a victim of police brutality.

But the Berwick man who died last week following an incident at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility himself talked about committing violent acts, according to a video he posted on Facebook days before his death.

Court records, meanwhile, show Mackey had two restraining orders against him filed by two women, alleging stalking and threats of violence.

“I have an excuse to murder (expletives) now. It’s on record,” Mackey is heard saying in the clip, as he sits in a car holding up a hand-written medical diagnosis indicating he was prone to “homicidal outbursts.”

“Does this mean if I kill you, they’re going to give me a pass?” he asks.

The video was uploaded June 4. Two days later, Mackey, 41, was jailed at the county correctional facility by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department on a warrant charging him with an alleged violation of a protection-from-abuse order in Luzerne County.

Two days after that on June 8, Mackey died at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, where he had lay bruised and unconscious after being admitted following an incident in which corrections officers had to restrain Mackey after he became aggressive, according to a statement released Monday by county officials.

Family members have raised questions after they were told by hospital staff that prison officials told them Mackey had suffered a seizure.

About five hours after arriving at the correctional facility, county officials in a news release issued Monday says Mackey “required medical attention” while being restrained.

Corrections officers responded to Mackey’s cell block at about 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, after he reportedly was “behaving aggressively” and officers “were forced to restrain Mr. Mackey” in order to defuse the situation, the news release says.

It failed to describe what type of force was used to restrain Mackey.

Facility staff administered CPR to Mackey and called for an ambulance, and he was transported to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital where he died two days later, around 8:30 p.m. Friday.

The statement concluded that no further comment would be made on behalf of Luzerne County due to an internal investigation and an investigation by the district attorney’s office.

Warrant voided

In an unusually fast-paced court process, Chief Public Defender Steven Greenwald filed a petition in court to lift the arrest warrant that brought Mackey to the correctional facility in the first place. A judge signed the petition voiding the warrant on Thursday, June 7.

As a result, Mackey was no longer considered an inmate at that point, or when he died.

Those who are jailed typically wait days before they are visited by their attorneys or public defenders, either in person or by video.

Greenwald did not return several messages for comment this week.

Mackey’s daughter, Tatiyanne “Tati” Mackey, and a friend, Star Ward, told the Times Leader on Sunday that hospital staff advised them prison officials reported Mackey suffered a seizure. Tati said her father begun having seizures in November, but no cause had been diagnosed in previous hospital visits, when scans came back normal.

The medical document Mackey held up in the video read, in part:

“Transient altered mental status. Pt (patient) has no warning when he has violent tendencies and has personality changes. Can have homicidal outbursts and get physical violent. Cannot work and have these episodes, which have required police or ER evaluation/intervention,” the diagnosis reads.


By Ed Lewis

[email protected]