Woman files lawsuit after newborn dies inside jail

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A woman is suing the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office in an $8.5 million lawsuit -- alleging mistreatment that resulted in the death of her newborn in the Milwaukee County Jail.

Her attorney told FOX6 News his client, 30-year-old Shade Swayzer was arrested on July 6th, when she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. She was taken into custody after an altercation with police, and prior to being booked into jail, she was taken to a hospital for an examination.

Her attorney claims her pregnancy was progressing normally at the time.

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Despite the pregnancy and a diagnosis of severe mental illness, she was placed in the maximum security unit, also known as the special needs unit at the jail.

She alleges she was given prenatal vitamins only once, and for days received no medical attention.

Swayzer alleges on July 14th, she went into labor, and she says when she tried to alert guards that her water broke, she was "laughed at."

She went into labor inside her cell.

Swayzer alleges her child was alive long enough for her to breast feed, but later, the baby died.

She claims guards checked in on her six hours after she gave birth.

"She's very depressed. She's distraught. I've never seen anybody break down that emotionally as she went through the story," Jason Jankowski, Swayzer's attorney said.

The medical examiner conducted an autopsy, but hasn't disclosed whether the baby was alive or stillborn at the time of birth.

"I take this very seriously. I judged her credibility from day one and I find her to be credible," Jankowski said.

FOX6 News has reached out to the Sheriff's Office for comment on this story. We have yet to hear back.

The corporation counsel office told FOX6 News they have a copy of the claim.

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