Fishkill Correctional Facility inmate Samuel Harrell’s autopsy report states cause of death as a cardiac arrhythmia and not an overdose of synthetic marijuana as guards originally reported
Another Black person has died in police custody according to a New York Times report; the death of New York prison inmate Samuel Harrell, 30, died of cardiac arrhythmia after being beat by prison guards this past April.
The autopsy report by the Orange County medical examiner concluded that Mr. Harrell had cuts and bruises to the head and extremities, and had no illicit drugs in his system; only an antidepressant and tobacco. He died of cardiac arrhythmia,
…following physical altercation with corrections officers.
The manner of death: Homicide.”
April 21st in Building 21 at the Fishkill Correctional Facility, Harrell, an inmate with a history of erratic behavior linked to bipolar disorder, announced he was going home and got into a confrontation with corrections officers. He was then thrown to the floor and handcuffed as 20 officers, including members of a group known around the prison as the Beat Up Squad, repeatedly kicked and punched the Black man while shouting racial slurs, according to more than a dozen inmate witnesses. Edwin Pearson, an inmate who watched from a nearby bathroom, stated,
Like he was a trampoline, they were jumping on him.”
Fishkill, a medium-security prison in Beacon, N.Y., about 60 miles north of New York City, is now under investigation by the State Police. For several weeks, officials have declined to comment on the inmates’ accounts of a beating by prison guards said to be the cause of Harrell’s death.
Five weeks before Harrell’s death, David Martinez, an inmate in Building 21 filed a grievances stating he was being assaulted and harassed by officers asking that the officers on that shift “be split up”. He also described them as “a group of rogue officers” who “go around beating up people.”