MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Testimony in the open John Doe investigation into the death of Brandon Johnson at the Milwaukee County Mental Health facility wrapped up on Thursday.
“They lied to me. They lied to me about everything. The nurses — it’s just unbelievable how they lied,” Johnson’s mother, Alicia Johnson said.
Brandon Johnson was taken to the Mental Health Complex after his mother called police in October of 2012, when Johnson began acting in a bizarre way.
While at the Mental Health Complex, Johnson’s pleas for help to go to a hospital with complaints of paralysis were not heeded. Doctors determined it was all in Johnson’s head. Later, Johnson died inside the facility — his back broken in three places and and blood clot traveling to his heart.
“If you have a conscience, if you’re human, if you see anybody crying out for help for three days — definitely unbelievable,” Alicia Johnson said.
In an unusual move, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office ordered an open John Doe hearing to investigate what happened to Brandon Johnson. Johnson told staff members he fell. Staff members testified they examined Johnson several times, saw him moving and did not believe he had a physical problem.
“The testimony shows there are significant issues at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. To hear nurses say that they didn’t review charts, to not know that someone had fallen, to not know that someone was in diapers, to not have an understanding about the physical problems that a patient of theirs was exhibiting,” the Johnson family attorney, Jonathan Safran said.
Safran and Alicia Johnson say there needs to be immediate changes at the Mental Health facility.
“Lives are in danger in that facility,” Alicia Johnson said.
“This should be a wake up call and I’m hoping the Milwaukee County Executive and the Corporation Counsel’s Office and those that are at the Mental Health Complex in an administrative standpoint, I’m hoping they’ve heard this testimony and are concerned enough that they believe something needs to be done,” Safran said.