SANTA ANA (CBSLA).com) — Three weeks to the day that Tina Wu found out that her brother Danny Pham was dead in his cell at the Orange County jail the family announced they are suing the county.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department which runs the jails isn’t saying much except that five employees were put on paid leave after the inmate died.
“We were shocked and we were questioning what happened and we had lots of questions that weren’t being answered,” Wu said. “We were left with a lot of unknown facts about how he died.”
No one has told the Phams how the 27-year-old Westminster man died. What is known according to his sister and the family attorney is that Pham was days away from his release after serving time for auto theft.
He was put in a cell with a man who was arrested for double murder. Attorney Michael Guisty says that man is the likely killer.
“I got an anonymous call yesterday that Danny was killed by an inmate that he was left for dead on the floor and that the whole thing is on tape so we need this videotape,” Guisty said.
The ACLU of Southern California has just put out a report on the Orange County jail system alleging unsafe conditions. Danny Pham’s death is the fifth in the system this year according to Daisy Ramirez who coordinated the jails project.
“We’ve heard multiple times in the past people that have been in danger housed in a two-person cell beaten by their cellmate and pressed the emergency button and custody staff neglects to respond to those things sometimes they don’t respond at all.” Ramirez said.