32 Fla. Prison Guards Fired After Inmate Deaths

Prisoners at 4 state prisons died because of abuse, misconduct: allegations
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2014 1:25 PM CDT
32 Fla. Prison Guards Fired After Inmate Deaths
Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews speaks at the Dade Correctional Institution on July 10, 2014, in Florida City, Fla.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Nearly three dozen guards for Florida's state prison system have been fired for alleged misconduct or abuse after inmate deaths at four different facilities, the Miami Herald reports via the AP. Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews said in a statement on Friday that the goal of the mass firing was to "root out any and all bad actors who do not live up to our expectations" and that his department has a "zero-tolerance" policy toward abuse. The incidents reportedly took place between 2010 and April of this year.

Details have been released for two of the horrific deaths:

  • Randall Jordan-Aparo, a 27-year-old inmate at Franklin Correctional, was sprayed with mustard-colored gas after he cursed at prison nurses who wouldn't let him get outside medical help for a rare blood disorder, the Herald reports—the prison told his father he had died of an "infection," despite a photo published in the Herald showing his cell walls coated in yellow gas residue.
  • Darren Rainey, 50, a mentally ill inmate, was reportedly blasted for two hours with scalding water at Dade Correctional: He "was found dead with his skin separated from his body," according to an ACLU letter to Attorney General Eric Holder cited by Reuters.
"These revelations that are coming out are not about incompetence," the head of Florida's ACLU division says in the letter. "They're about guards killing people and public officials working feverishly to cover it up." The Teamsters union, which represents the guards, disputes the firings, saying the guards didn't receive "due process" and that higher-ups are the ones who should be held responsible. (More inmate deaths stories.)

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