Local NAACP questions officials over recent jail deaths - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Local NAACP questions officials over recent jail deaths

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

After the recent deaths of three inmates, local NAACP members met with Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr to address safety concerns at the county jail.

They are now waiting to hear the answers to several questions they asked Sheriff Darr over concerns about jail operations.

Questions:

1. Is there video / audio of Lori Carroll entering the jail with the police officer? If not, explain?

2. Were Jeffery McKinney and Isaac Kindred both on inmate suicide watch?

3. Had there been any issues observed between McKinney and Kindred before the fight? (Ask to see the policy regarding inmates with mental issues on suicide watch.)

4. How often do mental patients inmates and the inmates on suicide watch get physically checked on by personnel on duty in the jail? Is there a log book showing date and times inmate checks were conducted?

5. Request a list of all inmates by name and the date inmates were involved in fights this year in the jail, to include all the dates and names of inmates sustained physical injuries resulting from the inmate fights or the reported the clinic with non-visible complaints such as pain after being involved in an inmate fight.

6. Ask the names of the male and female inmates that have been in custody the longest period of time at the Muscogee County jail.

7. What is the minimum number of deputies/ correction officers on duty on each shift at the jail?

8. Was your security status at the jail not increased or intensified after the first death occurred or even the sudden second death, especially since inmate Maurice Grier reportedly was involved in a fight.

9. What is the policy and procedure at the hail if you have a mental patient inmate acting out in some way and will not stop what they are doing or comply with verbal commands?

10. Is there video/audio of the nursing staff questioning Lori Carroll of protocol? If not, explain.

11. Is there video of Lori Carroll being questioned during the booking-in process in booking with the other corrections/deputies? If not, explain.

12. How much training do your investigators have in investigating homicides? Please provide documentation of their training and any updated training.

13. Since these three (3) inmate deaths did your investigators speak with family members to get any information that may have been told to them that may be pertinent to the investigation?

14. Were all the camera working in the jail and the appropriate number of personnel on duty when each of these individual deaths occurred, not just at the time when the bodies were found but on the shift before then the death may have occurred?

15. Have you made any policy changes to improve the way you do things since these inmate deaths? If so, explain.

16. Will the Sheriff commit to a future meeting with the NAACP to provide a detailed briefing on the federal mandate on the jail, how and when it all came about, and what he has specifically done in the last five (3) to address all areas of concern of the UDSOJ regarding the Muscogee County jail?

17. Will the GBI actually be thoroughly investigating all three (3) of the inmate deaths at this point, to include a GBI investigation and not just a review of the MCSO investigation of the Lori Carroll death?

18. In the wake of the three (3) inmate deaths in two (2) weeks, will Sheriff Darr officially request the USDOJ come in and conduct a thorough investigation or inspection of the Muscogee County Jail immediately after the GBI investigation of the three separate inmate deaths are complete and final? 

"I see many challenges from the standpoint of the jail system starting from our consolidated government," proclaimed Columbus chapter NAACP president Nathaniel Sanderson. "We cannot just let the burden of all this rest on one entity. This needs to be a shared responsibility."

The NAACP is also questioning how mental illness is being handled in the jail.

"It seems to be that too many people in our community that have mental health issues are being treated in the prison system and that's a big problem," Sanderson said.

The suspect in the latest death at the jail Jeffery McKinny's family says he suffers Schizophrenia. McKinny reportedly took his cell mate, Isaac Kindred's life during a fight.

Mckinny's mother, Marcia Johnson, said he'd gone without medication although she's asked for help several times.

After visiting her son, Johnson was interviewed by the GBI.

"They wanted to know about my son. Has he been violent? Is he gay? They're asking crazy questions, I know that," Johnson said.

Seeing her son inside the jail and being questioned by investigators had Johnson very upset.

"He don't even know what's going on. He thinks he's coming home. He saying he'll be coming home in a couple of days."

Sanderson says during the meeting with Sheriff Darr, Darr explained how the jail works on a daily basis.

"With the information that he gave you today do you feel satisfied," reporter Brittany Dionne asked.

"We have and ongoing dialogue and we started the process," Sanderson replied.

Sanderson said he believed Sheriff Darr is committed to getting answers involving the inmate deaths.  

Some have raised concerns of negligence by the jail for allowing mentally ill inmates to be in the same cell together.

"That's one of the areas we explored in detail and to the best of our knowledge, they were in compliance. It's not uncommon for inmates with metal issues to [housed] together," Sanderson said.

The NAACP believes the local government and the community need to get involved with helping Sheriff Darr make the jail as safe as possible.

Sanderson also says they're going to wait for the GBI to finish the investigation before coming to a conclusion on the deaths.

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