Harold Hempstead’s Evidence – Darren Rainey Murder

Harold Hempstead is the key witness to the torture and murder of Darren Rainey, a mentally disturbed, black Muslim convict who was serving two years for possession of a small amount of cocaine, at Dade Correctional Institution, Florida.  While in the prison’s ‘Transitional Care Unit’,  Mr Rainey’s Koran was thown in the trash and he was forced into a specially rigged shower where he suffered temperatures exceeding 180 fahrenheit for almost two hours, before finally collapsing and dying from the effects of the super-heated steam.

Most of Darren Rainey’s skin had come away from his body, but rather than treat the area as a crime-scene, the guards told a convict to throw the dead man’s skin “in the trash.”  The guards then conspired to conceal the crime.  It would very likely have remained concealed, recorded as an ‘accidental death’,  just another black man dead in a U.S. jail, had it not been for the relentless efforts of fellow-prisoner Harold Hempstead.  After filing over 80 grievances with the Florida Department of Corrections, which were all ignored, he made contact with the Miami Herald newspaper, which published the story.

Since Darren Rainey’s murder on 23rd June 2012, Harold Hempstead, the ‘Caged Crusader’ has spoken several times with reporters, and paid a high price for his attempted free speech.  Rather than protecting this witness, the FDC have at least four times, given him murderers for cell-mates.  His various medicines have been stopped, his medically-prescribed diet has been stopped and he has been waiting years for an operation on an untreated fractured wrist.

In a recent twist, the Department of Corrections held him in solitary for several months, claiming that he was involved with his own sister and some other convicts in an insurance plot to get himself shot for money.  When investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the allegations were proved to be totally groundless.

By standing up for justice for others, by insisting that all human lives are valuable, he has been rewarded with persecution, injustice and intimidation.  This is unlikely to stop him.  In future publications at this site, we’ll attempt to give a detailed overview of the Darren Rainey murder and the other extremely serious human rights and constitutional violations in the Florida Department of Corrections that Harold Hempstead has been bearing witness to.

What follows is his sworn statement describing the murder of Darren Rainey:


To:  Ms Vanita Gupta, Assistant U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20530

Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney, F.R. Graham Building, 1350 Northwest 12th Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) houses some of their most severe mentally disabled inmates in the Dade Correctional Institution Transitional Care Unit (TCU).  The Westside TCU has 3 wings and 12 showers.  The shower in Wing J3 next to Cell 201 was the only shower with 2 showerheads in it prior to June 26, 2012.  The showerhead on the sidewall of that shower was a PVC pipe in the wall that was hooked to a PVC pipe in the closet next to the shower.  That PVC pipe was connected to a hose which was connected to a commercial sink.  The commercial sink had hot and cold water knobs.  The hot water knob was marked “H” for “hot” and color coded red;  the cold water knob was mark “C” for “cold” and color coded blue.  The construction of this shower, and the fact that the temperature in this shower exceeded 180 degrees violated the environmental health and safety manual.

Ofc. Roland Clark was assigned to work wing J3 on the 4:00pm till 12:00am shift.  Part of Ofc. Clark’s work assignment was showering 2 to 4 dozen inmate patients every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Ofc. Clark had approximately 20 months experience with showering inmate patients prior to January 2012.

In or around January 2012, inmate Daniel Geiger  (J42951) was moved into Wing J3.  Geiger was considered to be the loudest inmate in the TCU.  Geigers’ schizophrenia caused him to yell and make noise constantly.  His presence in Wing J3 made it hard for other inmates to live and sleep in Wing J3.  Geiger’s constant yelling also caused Ofc. Clark to get in trouble with his superiors because of the constant noise coming from his wing (J3).

In or around January 2012, inmate X told Ofc. Clark that Geiger would stop yelling if Geiger was placed in the shower next to J3-201, and the water was turned on full hot.  X told Ofc. Clark to tell Geiger that the only way he could get out the shower was to stop yelling, and making noise and to stay quiet once he was taken out the shower.  Ofc. Clark tried X’s recommendation and it worked.

When Ofc. Clark seen that the shower treatment worked as a punishing devise, he from thereforth used it on the most severe mentally disabled inmates in the TCU that refused to comply with his orders.  From January 2012, till June 23, 2012, Ofc. Clark placed the following inmates in said shower as punishment: {1} Z; {2} Y; {3} V; {4} Q;)  and Darren Rainey (060954).  These inmates were placed in the shower one or more times a piece.  Every inmate yelled in someway or another about how hot the shower was and how they wanted to be let out of it.

This shower where the shower treatment was performed was in a blindspot in J3, and not able to be viewed by any mounted security cameras.

On June 23, 2012 Darren Rainey lived in Wing J1 cell 109.  The mounted security cameras in Wing J1 were able to view the whole wing including Rainey’s cell.  There were 6 working showers in said wing.  One of those showers was about 10 feet from Rainey’s cell, a second shower was next to the front door of wing J1 which Rainey would walk pass when he was being escorted out of Wing J1 to receive the shower treatment.

On June 23, 2012 Rainey went number 2 in the middle of his cell floor around 11:00am.  Ofc. T told affiant that he witnessed the foregoing.  The feces was left on the floor until shift change at 4:00pm.  After shift change, Ofc. Clark ordered Rainey to clean up the feces.  After Rainey continued to refuse to do the foregoing, Ofc. Clark removed Rainey from his cell, escorted Rainey from Wing J1 to Wing J3, placed him in the shower next to cell J3-201, turned the water on full hot, and left Wing J3.

The mounted security cameras in wings J1 and J3 prove Rainey didn’t have any feces on him.  Ofc. T told affiant that Rainey didn’t have any feces on him just prior to shift change.  On the night Rainey was murdered, affiant was housed in J3-101.  When Ofc. Clark entered Wing J3 he walked Rainey within 2 feet of affiants’ cell door where he was standing.  Affiant didn’t see or smell any feces on Rainey’s body.

While Rainey was receiving the shower treatment, he continuously kicked the shower door and yelled “It’s hot.  Get me out of here.  I’m sorry.”  His last words that he reiterated several times prior to dying was “I’m sorry.  I can’t take it not more.  I won’t do it again.”  His constant yelling and kicking of the shower door was heard by all the inmates housed in Wing J3 and the staff working that night.

The names and ranks of the security staff working the night Rainey was murdered are: Lt. Pickney, Sgt. Fanfan, and Ofcs. Clark, Cornelius Thompson, Gibson, and Hood.  Nurses Strobbel and Robinson were the 2 nurses posted on the Westside TCU the night Rainey was murdered.  Ofc. Clark told affiant that Dade CI. Dr. Julio Poueado said that Rainey’s body showed signs that Ofc. Clark used extreme physical force on Rainey.  Sgt. Johnathans was the regular Sgt. assigned to the Westside TCU on the 4:00pm till 12:00am and Ofc. Clark’s regular supervisor.  Sgt. Johnathans wasn’t working the night Rainey was murdered, but he was working several of the times that the other 4 inmates received the shower treatment by Ofc. Clark.

Ofc. Thompson was the first staff to find Rainey dead in the shower.  Ofc. Thompson left Rainey dead on the shower floor for about 8 minutes before Ofc. Clark returned to the shower to act like he just found Rainey dead.  During this 8 minute period, staffs’ witnessed actions were consistent with them discussing how to cover up Rainey’s murder.

Ofc. Clark placed Rainey in the shower on a night no inmate was supposed to be in a shower.  Out of the 11 working showers in the Westside TCU, Ofc. Clark placed Rainey in the only shower Ofc. Clark could control the water temperature in.

Prior to the June 23, 2012 murder of Rainey, Ofc. Clark had more then 2 years experience working in the Westside TCU.  Ofc. Clark knew that FDOC rules and procedures required him to advise the Duty Warden and Senior Psychiatrist, if Rainey refused to shower, and obtain permission from them, and the Chief Health Officer to institute the Hygiene Compliance Procedures.  Ofc. Clark didn’t do the foregoing, because Rainey didn’t need to shower, and didn’t refuse to shower.   The video footage from the mounted security cameras, and this affiant and other inmates witnessed Rainey being compliant when being escorted to the shower that would eventually be used to kill him.  The fact that Rainey had handcuffs on him when he was being escorted to the shower, shows at the least that he was compliant to some degree.  Why?  Because it means he complied with the command to submit to handcuffs.  If Rainey didn’t comply with the command to submit to handcuffs, than that means Ofc. Clark used unreported and unlawful force to place the handcuffs on Rainey prior to escorting him to the shower.

Following the Rainey murder, Ofcs. Clark and Thompson advised affiant to say that Ofc. Clark was the first staff to find Rainey dead, and that it wasn’t Thompson.

In the 6 months following Rainey’s murder, affiant discussed several times Rainey’s murder with Ofc.T and Psychological Specialist Ms. Cesar.  These staff to some degree contributed to affiant’s safety the last 6 months of 2012.

About 2 months after Rainey’s murder, Ofc.T told affiant that Rainey went number 2 on his cell floor at lunch on the day he was murdered because of an incident that occurred with him Ofc.T.

From around August 2012 till May 2014, a staff at Dade C.I. aided affiant in trying to bring to justice the staff who murdered Rainey.  This staff went by the name Robert Anderson when talking with the following agencies, etc. about Rainey’s murder:  U.S. Department of Justice, Miami-Dade Police Department, Dade County Medical Examiner, and the Miami Herald Newspaper.

From around July 2012, till May 2014, affiant did the following trying to obtain justice for the murder of Rainey:  {1} Filed approximately 80 FDOC Grievances; {2} Wrote letters to the U.S. Department of Justice, Miami-Dade Police Department, Dade County State Attorney’s Office, Dade County Medical  Examiners’ Office, and Miami Herald Newspaper; and {3} Verbally communicated with the U.S. Department of Justice, Miami-Dade Police Department, Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office, and Miami Herald Newspaper.

In 2013 and 2014 Ofc. Clark told several inmates and staff that he got away with the Rainey murder because “Hempstead kept his mouth shut.” In 2014, Ofc. Clark referred to affiant several times as his “cody” (short for co-defendant) to staff and inmates thinking that affiant had kept his mouth closed about the Rainey murder.  Affiant believes there is evidence to support that in 2014, a person on his own initiative recorded one or more conversations wherein Ofc. Clark was calling affiant “cody” and talking about how he “got away with the Rainey murder” because of the affiant.

Dade C.I. has a long history of state and federal investigations being conducted at it.  An internet google search for “Operation Bird Cage” should reveal one or more news articles that discuss one or more of the prior criminal investigations conducted at Dade C.I..  Affiant believes another investigation conducted at Dade C.I. was called “Operation Monster”.  Affiant believes that in 2013, and 2014, investigations were being conducted at Dade C.I. into income tax fraud, credit card fraud, internet fraud involving sex offenders, and drug smuggling.


There was a total of 11 working showers in the Westside TCU.  The wing Rainey lived in had 6 working showers.  Why wasn’t Rainey placed in the shower about 10 feet from his cell?  Why wasn’t Rainey placed in the shower next to the front door of Wing J1 which he walked pass when being escorted out of Wing J1?  Why was Rainey placed in the only shower out of 11 working showers that staff could control the temperature of the water in?

The damage to Rainey’s body shows how hot the shower was that Rainey was murdered in.  Obviously any shower that hot would cause the person in the shower to yell, etc. to get out of the shower.  The amount of damage the hot water caused to Rainey’s body proves he was yelling, and doing what he could to get out of the shower that murdered him.

Affiant was told by staff the week of Rainey’s murder that Rainey wasn’t taken his medicine.  The June 24, 2012 initial autopsy report agrees with the foregoing, also, it would’ve been impossible for Rainey to take any medicine that he wasn’t authorized to take because all medicine had to be consumed in front of an Ofc. and a nurse, and an inspection of the inmates’ mouth always followed.

The Housing Rosters for Wing J3 for the months of January 2012, till June 23, 2012, show all the inmates who were housed in Wing J3 during the foregoing months.  The inmates housed in Wing J3, during the foregoing months that witnessed inmates being placed in the shower as punishment are witnesses to Sgt. Clark’s action of using the shower as a torturing devise to punish mentally disabled inmates.  These witnesses should be found and interviewed.

The inmates housed in Wing J3 on June 23, 2012 are witnesses to the Rainey murder.  These inmates should be interviewed.

The following Mental Health Staff who use to work the TCU were told by inmates that Sgt. Clark was using the shower to punish mentally disabled inmates:  Dr. Basasa, and Ms. Cesar, Arencibia, and Cortada.  These staff should be interviewed.

TCU coach Nichole Ocanna was told by several inmates that security was using the shower as a torturing devise to punish mentally disabled inmates.  Coach Ocanna should be interviewed.

One evening when Ofc.T was working overtime and he was in Wing J3 talking to the affiant, Sgt. Clark had an inmate in the shower he was punishing.  When Ofc.T asked affiant why the inmate was yelling about how hot the shower was and how he wanted out of the shower, affiant told Ofc.T that staff on that shift (4:00pm till 12:00am shift) used that shower to punish inmates that didn’t comply with their orders.

Inmates placed in the shower for punishment could avoid placing their body under the hot water.  The extreme heat and steam caused by the hot water is what made the shower punishment.  The extreme heat caused the body temperature of the inmate in the shower to rise, and the heat and steam together made it where it was hard for the inmate to breathe who was in the shower.

The June 24, 2012 Medical Examiner’s Report says security staff “set the temperature to the water” in the shower.  The same report shows that Rainey was compliant.  The report says Rainey allegedly requested soap to shower.  Since Rainey was compliant why wasn’t he placed in a shower in his wing (J1).  The report also mentions visible trauma throughout Raineys body, and states that the water controls to the shower were controlled by Dade C.I. staff.  Finally, the report shows that Rainey was known to be healthy by his family, and doesn’t make any reference to his FDOC medical files saying Rainey had any medical problems.

In 2013 and 2014, Ofc. Clark told the following staff he got away with Rainey’s murder because affiant kept his mouth closed:  Cpt. Green, Sgts. Johnathans, Fanfan, Seals, and Lewis; and Ofcs. Jackson, Lennedy, Jolly, Levy, Corbert, Drinkwater, McBean, and a white male officer who worked under him in 2014, in foxtrot dorm.

Affiant witnessed all 5 inmates get placed in the shower as punishment, and the Rainey murder.  Affiant also heard all the yells to be removed from the shower, and all the yells about how hot the shower was from the 5 inmates placed in the shower.

The amount of witnesses and evidence that exist proves Ofc. Clark was torturing mentally disabled inmates and that he murdered Rainey.  Affiant cannot think of any reason why an arrest and prosecution hasn’t been instituted against Ofc. Clark and etc. since June 23, 2012 with as much witnesses and evidence existing that proves Rainey’s murder.  Affiant prays that the Rainey’s murder hasn’t been receiving the treatment that it has received because Rainey was a poor, black mentally disabled, Muslim, prisoner and his life did not matter.  Affiant prays that the U.S. Department of Justice and State of Florida will not let Rainey’s killers get away with murder, and that they make a public statement that Rainey’s life and the lives of all poor people, all black people, all mentally disabled people, all Muslims, and all prisoners matter by arresting and prosecuting Raineys killers.


Under penalty of perjury, I swear that everything stated herein is true and correct.

Affiant: (Signature of Harold Hempstead appears here on original, hand-written document) 5.5.16

Harold Hempstead, D.C.# 268866, Martin Correctional Institution, 1150 Southwest Allapattah Road, Indiantown, Florida 34956

CC: FBI (Case Agent), Miami-Dade Police Department (Case Detective), Dade County Medical Examiner, ACLU of Florida (Dr. Howard Simon), Stop Prison Abuse Now (Steven Wetstein), Florida Legal Services (Peter Sleasman), Disability Rights Florida (Molly Paris), Florida Justice Institute (Randall Berg), Forgotten Majority, National Action Network (Rev. Al Sharpton), Rainbow Push Coalition (Rev. Jesse Jackson), National Domestic Workers Alliance (Alicia Garza), Black Alliance (Opal Tometi), Nation of Islam (Louis Farrakhan), Miami Herald Newspaper (Julie Brown), CBS4 Miami (Michelle Gillen), WTVT Fox 13 Tampa (Craig Patrick), New Yorker Magazine (Eyal Press), Windy Hempstead, Susan Chandler, George Mallinckrodt, Jeremy Schanche



Author: hhccblog

I'm the editor of the Harold Hempstead Caged Crusader Wordpress. My name is Jeremy Schanche. You can contact me at the blog. The blog exists to bring justice for the murder of Darren Rainey and to address the numerous human rights violations in the Florida Department of Corrections.

2 thoughts on “Harold Hempstead’s Evidence – Darren Rainey Murder”

  1. Thank you for adding your voice to the chorus of others who are working to stop the officer-on -inmate abuse within Florida lockups, which unfortunately includes county jails and juvenile facilities, not just prisons.


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