Guards at a Florida prison murdered a mentally disabled patient by locking him in a scalding hot shower until he died from his burns and suffocation.
That’s the conclusion of an investigative news story in The Miami Herald that accuses guards and administrators at the Dade Correctional Institution of committing unbelievable, horrible crimes against the inmates.
The most shocking detail is the fate of Darren Rainey, a 50-year-old inmate serving two years for cocaine possession. According to the Herald, Rainey defecated in his cell and refused to clean it up. Guards retaliated by locking him in a scalding hot shower. Other prisoners heard Rainey screaming for 30 straight minutes, until the man finally died from lack of breathable air. The hot water had caused Rainey’s skin to fall off his body, according to eyewitness reports from other prisoners.
The shower camera was disabled just prior to the alleged incident. (RELATED: Cops Beat, Taser Man to Death, ‘They Just Weren’t Done Until He Was Dead’)
No one was charged with wrongdoing. Rainey’s death was reported as a heart attack, and the Florida Department of Corrections abandoned an investigation into the matter.
Harold Hempstead, an inmate working as an orderly at the prison, told the Herald that disobedient prisoners were subjected to starvation, sexual abuse and torture.
For weeks, the Herald has filed requests for documents relating to the shocking incidents. Last week, Warden Jerry Cummings was suspended. The prison has not yet issued a statement on the allegations.
Another prisoner, 40-year-old Richard Mair, committed suicide last year after enduring abuse. In his suicide note, he claimed that guards forced white and black prisoners to fight each other in the yard. He also claimed guards raped him.
It does not appear that his accusations were investigated, according to the Herald.
Administrators initially barred reporters from speaking with Hempstead, causing the Herald to fear that the inmate was being punished for giving them information. Dade administrators later said they had erred in denying requests to reinterview Hempstead, and would allow the meeting to take place.