Fair and transparent investigation essential
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - An incarcerated man at Lake County Correctional Institution near Orlando died on Friday, June 19 a day after sustaining life-threatening injuries from corrections officers.
The officers involved have been put on administrative leave. The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) has not released the names of the officers or the man who died.
The following is a statement from Shalini Goel Agarwal, senior supervising attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center:
“Too often society turns a blind eye to the culture of brutality that exists in our correctional facilities. We cannot afford to do so again. A man is dead, apparently due to the injuries corrections officers inflicted on him during a use-of-force incident. This requires a thorough, public investigation into what happened.
“National attention has been focused on systemic state-sponsored violence perpetrated by police officers. Correctional officers are the prison police. Long overdue and desperately needed changes to our criminal legal system are now being discussed and the white supremacist roots of the system are being challenged.
“FDC has tolerated a culture of abuse by prison guards for far too long. Just last summer, guards at this very prison brutally beat Otis Miller, while others paralyzed Cheryl Weimar at Lowell CI. This tragic death must be addressed and fundamental reforms to our prison system, which Florida leaders have refused to entertain, must now be on the table.”