Darren Rainey is a schizophrenic serving time for possessing cocaine. He was thrown into a Dade Correctional Facility prison shower. The water has been heated to 180 degrees, hot enough for ramen noodles or tea brewing.
Four correctional officers, Cornelius Thompson and Ronald Clark, kept Rainey in the shower two hours as punishment. Rainey shouted, “Please take my place!” It’s too much! Rainey was killed in the shower by the guards. Rainey was found crumpled on the ground. The nurses discovered that his body had been removed and that 90 percent of the burns were still visible. His body temperature was too high for a thermometer to measure, so his skin fell off.
On Friday, however, Catherine Fernandez Rundle of Miami-Dade State Attorney announced in an unscientific ruling that the four security guards who supervised what was equated to the Middle Ages would not face criminal charges.
The report states that the shower was not dangerous or unsafe. “The evidence doesn’t show that Rainey was deliberately ignored by correctional staff.”
Rundle’s office made public the findings of its investigation in a Friday afternoon roundup. This is a common method used by government officials to hide unflattering information or news. Rundle’s office would love to see this case disappear by the weekend, but the facts of the matter are so horrible that it should haunt them forever.
Rundle was appointed chief prosecutor of Miami-Dade in the 1990s, when Janet Reno left for the Bill Clinton administration. Rundle has been the state attorney ever since. Rundle has not been charged with any Miami police officer for shooting on duty during this period.
It is important that Rundle only had to accuse prison guards of a crime in order to prove that she was partial. The jury should determine the guilt. Rundle didn’t believe there was sufficient evidence to bring a criminal case, despite the fact that the man died in a shower, and that several witnesses claimed they saw burns on the body.
Julie K. Brown, Miami Herald reporter, spoke with many witnesses, inmates and prison staff. They claimed that the shower was used frequently to scald prisoners who were acting or frustrating the guards. Brown led a series investigations into abuses in Miami’s prisons in 2015. This has resulted in lawsuits, layoffs and rule changes as well as legislative hearings. Rundle didn’t initiate criminal proceedings.
The New Yorker published an investigation into Rainey’s death. Harriet Krzykowski was bullied and harassed by prison guards after she reported abuse at the prison. She was forced to attend therapy.
Rainey’s treatment was described as torture in this story.
Rundle’s 72 page closure memo draws heavily from the autopsy report. This was heavily criticised by civil rights activists. According to the report, Rainey was not found in a state of burns when he died. Howard Simon, executive director at the Florida branch American Civil Liberties Union, stated that the report, which was leaked to media during the investigation indicated the need for a federal investigation.
Randle’s office also noted that a Miami-Dade County officer stated that Rainey had “red spots” on his body, and that his skin “slipped” when he was taken out of the shower. Rundle’s memo indicated that the displacement could have occurred due to “decomposition” of the body, not burns.
According to the report, “Dr. [Emma] Liu answered detective Sanchez’s questions about the burns and said that Rainey hadn’t suffered any external injuries or thermal injuries (burns) whatsoever.” The cause of death for Rainey’s death between 2012 and 2014 was not established, he said.
This has been made more complicated by Rainey’s family members claiming that they were forced to quickly cremate his body. It was long ago burned to the ground if there was more evidence of the murder.
Harold Hempstead was one of the witnesses mentioned in the Herald articles and New Yorker articles. Hempstead was a prisoner convicted of robbery. Hempstead kept a journal and claimed to have heard Rainey screaming.
Rundle’s Friday note went to great effort to disqualify Hempstead’s diary as unreliable and inaccurate. Rundle’s office was informed by several inmates that they heard the screams. However, Rundle’s Friday note went to great lengths to disqualify Hempstead’s diary as inaccurate and unreliable. Rundle stated that the accounts were inconsistent and could not be trusted.
Famous March 17 Birthdays
Year: 1970 Patrick Lebeau, Canadian ice hockey player
Year: 1958 Christian Clemenson, American actor
Year: 1940 Mark White, American lawyer and politician, 43rd Governor of Texas
Year: 1886 Princess Patricia of Connaught (d. 1974)
Year: 1925 Gabriele Ferzetti, Italian actor