A full 19 different inmates locked up in New York’s Fishkill Correctional Facility have signed sworn affidavits that say they witnessed guards brutally beating Samuel Harrell to death.
Michael Winerip and Micahel Schwirts of the New York Times write that the inmates described nothing short than what Shaun King of the Daily Kos says was “a living hell on earth not just for Samuel, but for so many of their peers who are locked far away in poorly managed prison.”
Last April 21st, 30 year old Samuel “J-Rock” Harrell was killed – beaten to death by prison guards.
King days that Harrell was “often out of touch with reality, and five years away from his sentence ending.”
He didn’t understand the situation he was facing, day-to-day, behind bars. “Samuel packed a bag and told the guards his beloved sister was there to pick him up,” King explains. “Of course she wasn’t, but sincerely didn’t seem to know that.”
Not long after, he got into a confrontation with corrections officers, was thrown to the floor and was handcuffed. As many as 20 officers — including members of a group known around the prison as the Beat Up Squad — repeatedly kicked and punched Mr. Harrell, who is black, with some of them shouting racial slurs, according to more than a dozen inmate witnesses. “Like he was a trampoline, they were jumping on him,” said Edwin Pearson, an inmate who watched from a nearby bathroom.Mr. Harrell was then thrown or dragged down a staircase, according to the inmates’ accounts. One inmate reported seeing him lying on the landing, “bent in an impossible position.”
The inmates say the guards were immediately trying to cover their tracks and construct and agreed upon alibi.
“I saw the officers kicking him, jumping on his head multiple times and screaming, ‘Stop resisting,’ even though I didn’t see him moving,” Mr. Pearson, wrote. He has now been released after serving two years on a minor weapons charge.
Harrell never fought back, or even really spoken during the fatal beating.
“The prison called an ambulance and made up a story stating that Samuel had overdosed on K2, an illegal drug often smuggled into prison,” King explains. “Except, facts matter and the autopsy showed Samuel hadn’t taken any illegal drugs at all. He was beaten to death.”
To date, not a single prison guard has been suspended, fired or arrested over this.