Cause of death ‘undetermined’

Jeremy Gantz

Shades of Gitmo in a must-read article at the NY Times this morning, which details death in America's patchwork system of immigration detention:Mr. Bah’s relatives never saw the internal records labeled “proprietary information — not for distribution” by the Corrections Corporation of America, which runs the New Jersey detention center for the federal government. The documents detail how he was treated by guards and government employees: shackled and pinned to the floor of the medical unit as he moaned and vomited, then left in a disciplinary cell for more than 13 hours, despite repeated notations that he was unresponsive and intermittently foaming at the mouth. I'd rather not live in a country where this can happen with near impunity:The records leave unclear exactly when or how Mr. Bah was injured in detention. But they leave no doubt that guards, supervisors, government medical employees and federal immigration officers played a role in leaving him untreated, hour after hour, as he lapsed into a stupor. Be sure to check out this page, which offers a compendium of video, graphics, news reports and documents related to dozens of these horrifying "in-custody" deaths.Thank God for the Freedom of Information Act. I don't want to imagine what would never see the light of day without it.

Jeremy Gantz is a contributing editor at the magazine. He is the editor of The Age of Inequality: Corporate America’s War on Working People (2017, Verso), and was the Web/​Associate Editor of In These Times from 2008 to 2012.

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