Family of Samuel Harrell, Killed by "Beat Up Squad" in NY Prison, Holds Hunger Strike for Justice

We speak with family members who have just concluded a five-day hunger strike marking the first anniversary of the death of Samuel Harrell, who died after as many as 20 corrections officers kicked, punched and threw him down a flight of stairs while he was incarcerated at the Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, New York. An autopsy report determined the African-American man’s death was a homicide caused by a "physical altercation with corrections officers." Some of the officers were known around the prison as the Beat Up Squad. The superintendent at Fishkill, William J. Connolly, abruptly resigned in the weeks after the incident, and both the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. District Attorney’s Office have launched investigations into the case. But more than a year later, no one has been charged in Samuel Harrell’s death, and the correctional officers involved in the assault are still working at the prison. Harrell’s father, Samuel Harrell Sr., and sister, Cerissa, discuss why they want the officers "held accountable, just like any other citizen," and how they are calling for body cameras to be used in correctional facilities and for guards to receive better training for de-escalating misunderstandings and dealing with people who have mental illnesses.


#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.