By Christopher Zoukis Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Karen V. Murphy ordered the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) to turn over its Police Department Manual to the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit on October 6, 2015. The manual was requested through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) petition filed by the law firm of…Read More
By Christopher Zoukis As more troubling details regarding the untimely death of Sandra Bland emerge, it’s clear that being under police custody is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to be. On the heels of the deaths of Freddie Gray and Eric Garner, and following in the tradition of Maricopa County’s trail of deaths, Bland’s experiences…Read More
A North Carolina prisoner with a history of mental illness who was found dead in a transport van after being transferred to another prison died due to dehydration, according to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office.
However, the state pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Michael Anthony Kerr, 54, said records provided by the Department of Public Safety were so scanty and incomplete that she was unable to determine whether his death was accidental, a suicide or a homicide.
Prison records indicate that Kerr was held in solitary confinement for 35 days prior to his death and had spent the last five days of his life handcuffed and largely unresponsive. Prison officials repeatedly turned off the water to his cell because he had flooded it, and put him on a diet of milk and nutraloaf. The milk was later ordered withheld.
“They treated him like a dog,” said Kerr’s sister, Brenda Liles.Read More
By Carrie Wilkinson Although Prison Legal News and its parent organization, the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC), are best known for litigation involving censorship by prison and jail officials, HRDC also co-counsels select other cases, mainly involving wrongful deaths on behalf of prisoners’ surviving family members. As detailed in this issue’s cover story, one of…Read More