An Oregon man died less than an hour after being released from a local hospital by doctors who claimed there was “no medical reason” for him to be there.
On Dec. 12, 26-year-old Jean Descamps sat slumped in a hospital bed at Providence Milwaukie Hospital. His gaunt legs were covered in scabs and sores and he was barely responsive.
The hospital had called local police that night to remove the man after he refused to leave when offered a ride to a homeless shelter.
Bodycam footage released Friday shows police entering the hospital room, helping Descamps into a wheelchair and pushing him outside into a police car.
Less than an hour later he was dead.
Jean Descamps, 26, lay in a hospital bed at Providence Milwaukie Hospital in Oregon on the night of Dec. 12
Medical staff ordered police to remove the young man, who was covered in scabs and sores, from the hospital after he refused to leave
The staff claimed they provided Descamps with overdose medication, took him to a homeless shelter and called a taxi, but he wouldn't budge
“There is no longer a medical reason why he is here and it is all behavioral,” an employee tells officers.
Descamps is showing signs of “failure to thrive,” medical staff say, a term most commonly used for children who are not gaining weight at a healthy rate.
Employees told police they provided Descamps with the overdose-reversal drug Narcan, took him to a shelter and called a taxi, but he refused to leave.
The man barely moans at various points in the nearly two hours of footage released by police.
Two officers cuff the man's arms above his head while securing handcuffs to his limp wrists. They carefully lift him up and place him in a wheelchair.
They then wheel him to a police car parked outside and lift him into the back seat as his head falls forward.
“Are you feeling at all comfortable with everything that’s happening right now?” an officer asks.
“No,” replies another.
Although he was unresponsive, staff told police there was “no longer a medical reason” for his stay and diagnosed him with “failure to thrive,” a term typically used to describe children who are not gaining weight
Descamps moans and groans in the nearly two hours of body camera footage released Friday by the Milwaukie Police Department
Officers learned that Descamps had outstanding warrants for his arrest, but the county prison refused to accept him because he was unable to care for himself
The officers put a blanket over Descamps and try to figure out where they are going to take him.
Since there is a valid arrest warrant against the 26-year-old, the officers are checking whether they could take him to prison. But the county jail won't take him in because he can't take care of himself.
Police decide to transport Descamps to Unity Behavioral Health Hospital in Portland.
As an officer returns to the emergency room for his discharge papers, a police officer asks why the unresponsive man is being released since he “can't be alone.”
“We don’t have anywhere to take him,” the supervisor said.
“He does it voluntarily. “He came in here,” an employee replies.
The supervisor is told that Descamps had refused a taxi and “wanted to stay here all night.” So that's how it went for him.'
“It’s not actually a medical problem,” says one employee.
“It’s not a police problem either,” replies the police chief.
Officers decide to send Descamps to a peace officer's detention center, which allows police to escort a person to a medical facility against their will if the officer has probable cause to believe the person is a danger to themselves or represents others.
You will leave the hospital before 11 p.m. and go to the psychiatric emergency room at Unity Behavioral Health.
When police told hospital staff they had nowhere to take him, a staff member replied: “It's not really a medical issue.”
Officers handcuffed the man and placed him in a wheelchair before pushing him to a parked police car
In the footage, Descamps appears to be barely conscious as his head falls forward
An officer tells a hospital employee that Descamps is in “bad shape” and cannot walk. The police are instructed to reverse the car into the ambulance bay.
As the car comes to a stop around 11:04 p.m., an officer puts on gloves. “Hey, Jean, they're coming for you, okay?” he shouts through the rear passenger window.
After calling the man's name several times and receiving no response, one officer was heard asking another, “Do you see his chest heaving?”
At 11:07 p.m., Officer Timothy Cleary opens the door and checks for a pulse. “Boy, I don’t know. I don't know. Look at his eyes,” he says.
Cleary and Officer Bradley Walther pull Descamps out of the car and lay him on the sidewalk. After removing the handcuffs, they take turns performing CPR.
Medical personnel arrive and take over with a defibrillator, but Descamps is pronounced dead at the scene.
“I've been saying for years, it's a matter of time before they refuse to deal with it and let us do something,” an officer tells a paramedic. “This guy doesn't have to be dead now.” Their mindset there is, “Oh, it's just another tweaker.”
Emergency medical personnel are instructing officials to call an ambulance for medical transport from one hospital to the next the next time they find themselves in a similar situation.
An official explains that Providence refused to take the man back. “I mean, he's nonverbal, he doesn't talk, he has an involuntary drool, and they say, no, there's nothing wrong with him,” he says.
EMS tells officers they “did everything right.”
Officers took Descamps to Unity Behavioral Health Hospital in Portland, but he became unconscious in the back seat of the car and was later pronounced dead
“This guy doesn’t want to be dead now,” one officer was heard saying. “Their mindset there is, 'Oh, it's just another tweaker.'”
After the footage was released, Providence released a statement in which the hospital promised to “do better.”
“Providence regrets the death of Jean Descamps and we apologize to his family and friends and express our condolences for their loss. “In this case, our goal is to provide safe, reliable and compassionate care to our patients , not achieved,” it said.
“The Milwaukie Police Department video is difficult to watch, and Providence is committed to doing everything we can to learn from it and improve our response to our most vulnerable patients.”
According to the statement, the hospital began a “thorough internal review” with the organization that serves its emergency physicians and the Oregon Health Authority.
“Finally, on behalf of all of our caregivers at Providence Milwaukie, we give you our promise: We will do better,” the statement ended.
According to the medical examiner's preliminary findings, Descamps likely died of a “drug overdose of natural causes.”
According to a memo from the Multnomah County district attorney, Descamps was taken to the hospital by ambulance after he refused to get off the train.
He told Clackamas County Sheriff's Office officers, who responded, that he had been using drugs and was in pain. He was covered in feces.
At the hospital, Descamps showered, ate and was given Narcan. Medical records describe Descamps as “completely pleasant” and say he was unresponsive until staff attempted to discharge him and he fell out of the wheelchair.
The records indicate he was given “a little Narcan” for possible “mild opioid intoxication,” but “notably no evidence that toxicology tests were performed or even ordered,” prosecutors wrote.
Local advocates insist his death was preventable.
“The only safe place for Jean at that moment was the hospital bed where he was lying,” Jimmy Jones, executive director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, told KPIC.
Jones also serves as co-chair of the Legislative Task Force on Hospital Discharges. This group was formed after Senate Bill 1076, which would have provided shelter for homeless patients, failed to pass out of committee during the 2023 legislative session.
Of course, the man's family members are most affected.
“I’m angry,” Desiree Descamps told The Oregonian. She said her son lived on the streets.
“It seemed like he needed serious medical attention,” she continued. “Just the drugs got him and the streets got him.” I thought he would get help. Turns out that wasn't the case.'
The family has hired a lawyer.
Providence did not immediately respond to 's request for comment.