NY Sheriff Refuses to Provide Details on Two Recent Inmate Deaths

Carlos Miller

Nobody at the Broome County Jail in New York is saying much about the two inmates who have died in less than a month.

In fact, the local district attorney’s office said it was not even aware of the latest death this week until contacted by the media.

And even then, Broome County District Attorney’s Chief Investigator Jason T. Ellis didn’t seem to really care.

“It is our understanding (that) the Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation,” Ellis said in the statement to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.

“We will review the matter to determine if further investigation is warranted.”

Ellis seems to have a lot of confidence in Broome County Sheriff David E. Harder, whose department oversees the 536-bed jail in the town of Dickinson, about three-and-a-half hours northwest of Manhattan.

But Sheriff Harder is already being sued for the death of a third inmate from last year, which he describes as a “bunch of crap.”

The lawsuit states that inmate Salladin Barton was regularly abused and starved before he was viciously beaten by guards, then left untreated for a day before he died in his cell on January 15, 2015.

So you would think Ellis would take more of an interest in these in-custody deaths.

But then again, Ellis retired as a detective from the Broome County Sheriff’s Office last year after a career spanning more than 20 years, according to his LinkedIn page.

So we can assume he is collecting a pension from the county for his days working for the sheriff’s office while also collecting a salary working for the district attorney’s office. Essentially double-dipping at the taxpayer’s expense.

So he’s not the most credible law enforcement officer to investigate these jailhouse deaths.

The latest in-custody death took place Saturday, but the inmate’s name, history nor cause of death has been released, which goes to show you the level of transparency taking place in this county.

For all we know, the inmate’s family has not even been notified.

Last month, a 34-year-old inmate named Kevin Carroll somehow ended up in a coma before they pulled him off life support without even waiting for his family to make the decision.

The sheriff then waited two-and-a-half weeks before reporting the death to the media, but only after reporters began making inquiries.

And all Harder could say was make some vague reference to Carroll’s “medical history,” according to Time Warner Cable News.

“It’s unfortunate that this gentlemen died, but unfortunately, if you knew his medical history, you’d understand why he died,” said David Harder, the Broome County sheriff.

But Carroll’s family said they were unaware of any medical issues he may have had.

And what kind of “medical history” would somebody have to wind up in a coma?

The Mayo Clinic’s website said coma’s can be caused by traumatic brain injury, strokes, diabetes, infections and overdoses to name a few reasons.

But had he slipped into a coma for a reason other than getting his brain bashed in, then you would think the sheriff would be more forthcoming about the reasons.

Carroll’s family said they received a call from the jail on September 29, two days after he was transported to the hospital, informing them that he was in a coma and that they needed somebody to make a decision about whether or not to remove him from life support .

But by September 30, they had removed him life support without any input from the family.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Harder refuses to reveal more information about any of the deaths, preferring to spend his time bragging about his awards on his Facebook page.


Citizen Journalism