Family blames excessive force for inmate death

Fight leads to inmate death at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility

MUSKEGON, MICH. - The Muskegon family of an inmate who died at a prison in Ionia says it is because corrections officers used excessive and unnecessary force.

The Department of Corrections confirms 24-year-old Dustin Szot died Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Bellamy Creek Correctional facility.

A spokesman says Szot could not be revived after he refused to stop fighting with another inmate and was tased by corrections officers.   

“They refused to stop fighting and tasers were deployed,” explains spokesman Chris Gautz. “That is the next step taken.”

But his family says a prisoner contacted them who says he witnessed what happened.

Both inmates were in a surrender position on their stomachs and Szot was tased because an officer didn’t like something he said.

“I guess my brother made a comment to one of the officers and the officer shot him with a taser gun,” says the inmate’s brother, Fred Szot. “They shot him again with another taser gun and the inmate that called me said 3 officers jumped on top of him and shot my brother in the back of the neck with a taser anywhere from 4 to 6 times. My brother’s body went limp.”

“There is only one way to get to the bottom of this issue,” says younger brother Zack Coons. “See the video of what happened. Video and audio from the Michigan Department of Corrections.”

The Department of Corrections says Michigan State Police and the Ionia County Medical Examiner are investigating the death of inmate Dustin Szot. WZZM 13 has also submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Corrections asking for any video that shows the confrontation.

“That is the only way to find out what really happened,” says Coons.

© 2017 WZZM-TV


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