The following report from NJ dot com is about a Plainfield man – in his 20s – who turned up dead after being put into restraint by jail authorities at Middlesex County jail in North Brunswick in the early morning hours of November 2, 2014. He had been arrested for an alleged assault on police in Piscataway. He perished of cervical spine fracture (broken neck) after being forced into restraints in a apparently special chair. No charges against his jailers have been filed.
From the article:"I don't agree with the findings," (Mr. Yearby’s father) said. "You're telling me that you don't know when my son sustained a cervical fracture, but he is still up and fighting corrections officers before they place him into the restraints? That doesn't make any sense."
A four-month long investigation by county officials has determined that Yearby died of a cervical fracture of the spine sustained during a blunt force trauma, officials told the family today.
"He[David Yearby] walked into Middlesex County jail and was carried out with a broken neck," said Gregg Zeff, attorney for Yearby's family. "The family is going to review the investigation file. They are still looking for answers."
The authorities claim that they don’t know if the guy got his neck broken from the way he was put into the restraint chair or from previous altercations. If it was from something previous – then they put him into the device with an already broken neck which would be gross negligence (and could mean they had already broken his neck and were using the device as a cover up.) Otherwise the way they hooked him into the device clearly caused him to be killed. It is dubious that the investigators could not trace the cause of the death.
Like Mr. Yearby’s father, we all should be looking for answers. This is all too common place. We can never accept the official proclamations from official “investigations” that are reliant on the “evidence” provided by the officials directly responsible for the predicaments. This is true of the cases when unarmed people are killed by police on the streets and just as true when deaths under suspicious circumstances (or any circumstances) occur inside the incarceration facilities, be they local or county jails, state or federal prisons. It is all to easy for incarceration authorities and corrections officers to blur the reality about what really occurred.
Of course in this case the news report carries the story of the less than exemplary past of the victim. As always – we in the movement for justice – need to ignore that – it does not matter nor excuse operatives of the state to abuse or kill due to past actions of the victims in these cases. It is MO of corrections as well as police to provide the myriad details to turn the public against the victim in these cases in its reports to the media.
At our recent event at Rowan University, Sociology Professor Dr. Sandra Joy addressed the issue of mortality in incarceration. She spoke of the health care crisis due to inadequate medical care as the incarcerated population ages. She referred to outrageous examples of killings by correction officers including a man whose skin had to be scraped from the cell after being killed by being subject to scalding water spray and another case at Rikers upstate New York where a man was literally baked to death due to extreme heat in his cell. She spoke of Florida where literally hundreds of suspicious deaths are under investigation.
That is a MASSACRE! And in those cases – responsible CO’s have been simply fired – not charged with murder or any other criminal charges. Dr. Joy also spoke of the doubling of likelihood of early mortality for those who have been incarcerated.
Dr. Joy’s presentation:
There was recently another case – at least one – at Southwoods where the officials claim an incarcerated man succumbed to a heart attack but at our Camden event on January 24, Gary Frazier spoke of seeing the body and there was blood out the back of the head and on the face – which would not be the result of a heart attack.
Gary Frazier’s presentation:
While the South Jersey Times picked up on this information – there has been no follow up as far as this writer knows.
When police kill on the streets – they get away with it – but there are often pictures, videos and eyewitnesses that bring to light details that contradict the police cover ups that invariably occur.
However inside the gulags of these Incarcerated States of America – there are thousands of ways to kill incarcerated persons and make it look like a suicide, like an act of random violence, like natural causes. There are many means to inflict conditions that lead to an earlier death.
As Decarcerators on the outside – we have A RESPONSIBILTY to work DILIGENTLY to get information from inside the facilities, document it, analyze it and put it OUT on the proverbial streets including on the INTERNET MAIN-BLOGOSPHERE-STREET .
Decarcerate the Garden State is interested in getting information about what is going on inside of NJ facilities out to the decarceration community and the community at large.
While the nation is up in arms over the rampant killing of civilians on the streets at the hands of police, truth be told it is much EASIER to cause the deaths of incarcerated persons inside of prisons and way easier to cover it up or make It look like an accident or a random act of violence. Usually there is no investigation.
Anyone with information about what happened in the South Woods case or what is going on inside there or other NJ facilities – feel free to contact Decarcerate the Garden State anonymously at Decarc@DecarcerateNJ.org. .
Here are some past reports on abuses in NJ’s facilities:
Here is a an article about a settlement of a beating that occurred in a south Jersey facility previously with some medical neglect by Southwood:
Defacto Wholesale Massacre in Florida:
Then there is this story out of Rikers of rat poisoning in the meat loaf:
I have seen statistics that somewhere around 1 in 30 will die in prison – that means about 700 of NJ state’s 22000 incarcerated (in state facilities) will NOT MAKE IT OUT ALIVE. Now some would have died anyway but many would not have. At least hundreds will die due to the conditions: bad food, lack of medical care, bad water, unhealthy cell conditions, exposure to infections, diminished immunity, violence, abuse, psychological deprivation – not to mention intentional actions of the corrections personnel .
IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT ABUSES, BRUTALITY, DEPRIVATIONS INSIDE NJ'S STATE OR LOCAL INCARCERATION FACILITIES - CONTACT DECARC@DECARCERATENJ.ORG / 908-881-5275
Pull back the curtain and expose the mass killing that goes hand in glove with mass incarceration. #INCARCERATEDLIVESMATTER