WHAT IS DADE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER DR LEW TRYING TO HIDE ON THE DARREN RAINEY CASE?

On 4/18/17 I was told the Miami Herald published an article on how Dade County Medical Examiner Dr Lew is refusing to allow an independent medical examiner to review the skin and blood samples etc. from Darren Rainey that are the records to support her findings.  Also, I was told the reason why Dr Lew is doing the foregoing is because she’s alleging the skin and blood samples etc. that the independent examiner wants to review are not public records.  If  that was true then why do medical examiners across Florida disagree with her.  You can find several articles by the Miami Herald newspaper on prison deaths that county medical examiners across Florida allowed independent medical examiners to look at the skin, blood etc. samples in other prison death cases.  Also, you can find several other cases in Florida where county medical examiners allowed independent examiners to examine skin, blood etc. samples in murders and deaths they were assigned to.  Were all the medical examiners in Florida legally wrong for doing what they did and only Dr Lew’s office is right?  Of course not.  Florida lawyers also say Dr Lew’s office is legally wrong.  I can only think of two logical reasons why Dr Lew’s office would refuse to allow an independent medical examiner to review the skin, blood etc. samples from Darren Rainey.  Dr Lew and the Dade County State Attorney know the skin samples prove Rainey’s skin was burned and that he didn’t die like Dr Lew alleged.  

Option One:  They don’t want the independent examiner to expose Dr Lew’s lies, so they’re going to fight tooth and nail to prevent the foregoing.  

Option Two:  Dr Lew refused to allow the independent examiner to review the record samples from Rainey until she had time to replace Rainey’s record samples with another dead person’s samples.  

These are the only two logical reasons I can come up with.  If you can think of another one will you please share it with me?  In other blogs I addressed problems with Dr Lew’s findings and how a lot of the reasons why Dade County officials don’t want to prosecute Rainey’s killers is because Rainey was a poor, black, mentally disabled Muslim prisoner and to them Rainey’s life wasn’t worth how much it’ll cost to prosecute Rainey’s killers.  

I haven’t yet explained the impact the Rainey case would have on the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) and Florida and how much it’ll cost these two entities if a murder prosecution was instituted (and was successful.)  I believe it’s fair to say that if the Dade County Florida State Attorney (and Dr Lew) said Rainey was killed based on the conditions in the shower it would show the DOJ and the people of the World the extent of the evil to which FDC staff will subject inmates.  It would more than likely cause the DOJ (and the people of the World) to see that the DOJ (or some type of independent oversight committee) really needs to take over, supervise, monitor FDC and it would lead to millions and millions of dollars in liability and problems for FDC that they’d have to pay to have fixed to prevent future inmates from being harmed.  

Despite all of the things I’ve mentioned, these things shouldn’t matter.  Those who killed Rainey shouldn’t be allowed to remain free and Rainey’s killers should be prosecuted.  If Rainey’s killers would be prosecuted their prosecution would be a statement to all that the lives of poor people, black people, mentally disabled people, Muslims and prisoners matter.  By not prosecuting Rainey’s killers it is a clear statement that the lives of the lives of these people don’t matter and the life of poor, black, mentally disabled Muslim prisoner Darren Rainey doesn’t matter to Dade County Medical Examiner Dr Lew, and to the Dade County, Florida State Attorney who led Dr Lew to make false findings on Darren Rainey’s murder.

Please share this blog with your friends and anybody you believe would like to join us in our fight for the value of life.  Please sign our petition at Change.org entitled THE LIFE OF BLACK, MENTALLY DISABLED MUSLIM PRISONER DARREN RAINEY DOES MATTER.

Caged Crusader

Harold Hempstead Evidence Film Darren Rainey Murder

Jeremy Schanche reads a sworn statement by Harold Hempstead describing Darren Rainey’s murder by Officer Roland Clark.

On 23 June 2012, a black Muslim convict was tortured to death at Dade C.I. in Florida.  He was locked into a specially rigged shower stall for almost two hours, in temperatures of up to 183 Fahrenheit.  When he was eventually found, most of the skin had peeled away from his dead body.  An inmate was later ordered to throw the skin into the trash.  This brutal murder was covered up by guards and other authorities, until inmates, including Harold Hempstead, succeeded in finally contacting the Miami Herald newspaper, which broke the story.

Although the U.S. Constitution guarantees free speech, the reality of life in the Florida Department of Corrections, like its counterparts in many other American states, is different.  Inmates who merely file complaint forms, let alone talk to the press, can expect brutal retaliation from certain of the guards.  Inmates who stand up and blow the whistle on brutality, abuse and corruption are taking a great risk to their own safety, in a penal system that has degenerated into routine brutality, systematic starvation, and regular torture and murder.

This film should never have been made.  People should not be steamed to death in locked showers, screaming for mercy, dying alone in terror and agony.  USA is not the only nation to conceal horrors such as this, but the USA has a Constitution, a blueprint for justice, democracy and the rule of law – not all nations have such a thing.  Furthermore, the USA is a vital element of western culture and civilization.  For this nation to live up to its promise, its meaning and its true identity, something must change.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the Russian author of such books as Crime and Punishment said “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.”  For ‘America’ to ever be ‘Great’ it’s going to have to take a radically different approach to the treatment of those it locks up and takes into its power.

This film has been made in an attempt to publicize the evidence of the prisoner, witness and whistle-blower Harold Hempstead who is endangering his own safety to bring justice for the murder of a mentally disturbed black Muslim man, Darren Rainey.  On 7th November 2016, the prisoner Daniel Geiger died in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections.  He is mentioned in the film as the inmate for whom the ‘shower-treatment’ was originally devised.  Daniel Geiger was put in the special shower on more than one occasion.  He was also systematically starved.  Regular food-deprivation was part of the regime at Dade Correctional Institution and Harold Hempstead is convinced that is has contributed to more than one death.

Records show that this prisoner’s weight at the start of his detention was 179lbs, which is just over 12 ¾ stone.  However, when New Yorker journalist Eyal Press spoke to Daniel Geiger’s mother, Mrs Debra Geiger, she reported that in 2012, her son had told her that his weight was down to 105lbs (7 ½ stone).

Whatever crimes a man may have committed, the Constitution, the foundation document of the nation, requires, in the name of the people, that convicts shall be treated according to lawfully encoded standards of justice and welfare, with recourse to legal redress of grievance and the free speech to do so.  While the rights of the convict are obviously considerably fewer than those of the free citizen, they are, nonetheless, clearly defined and enshrined in law, and should, when circumstances deem it necessary, be vigorously protected by we, the people.

Notes:

  1. ‘Affiant’ means the author of an affidavit or witness-statement – which in this case is Harold Hempstead.
  2. ‘C.I.’in this context stands for ‘Correctional Institution’ or prison.
  3. In the film I wrongly stated that Harold was recruited at age 14. He was actually 13 when first employed by the St.Petersburg Police Department, Florida. (J.S.)

You can read a typescript of the affidavit read in the youtube movie here, where it was the first post published on this site:

darren-rainey

Remember Darren Rainey.

Caged Crusader Advocates Disabled Rights Florida D.C.

bw-harold

Harold Hempstead takes on the cause of Disabled Rights in the Florida Department of Corrections.  From the information he’s also submitted to Rick Scott, Governor of Florida and the U.S. Department of Justice, it would seem that the needs and safety of the mobility-impaired inmates are not being taken seriously.  The following affidavit meticulously details the many obstacles and difficulties daily encountered by those convicts confined to wheelchairs.  Once again, the law has prescribed a series of measures to be taken and standards to be upheld and these are simply not being respected and implemented properly.  Once again, it takes the efforts of a prisoner to raise these matters and ask the authorities to uphold their own laws and regulations.  When those authorities start listening to Harold Hempstead and implementing the strategies already in place for protecting disabled rights, and basic human rights;  as well as the many other grave matters that he has raised;  then perhaps Florida can one day truly claim to be a place administered by justice, democracy and the rule of law. 

SWORN AFFIDAVIT

To:  U.S. Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington D.C. 20530.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, 400 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.

Florida Department of Corrections,  Attn:  A.D.A. Coordinator, 501 South Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399.

The Federal A.D.A. Act (42 U.S.C. : 12101) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Acts (29 U.S.C. : 794) apply to prisoners,  Pennsylvania Department of Corrections V. Yeskey, 524 U.S. 206, 118 S.CT.1952 (1998);  Harris V. Thigpen, 941 F.3D 1495 (11th Cir. 1991).

MOBILITY IMPAIRED INMATES

The wheelchair impaired inmates are housed in 8 housing dorms at Okeechobee C.I.  In order for them: to leave their housing dorms and go to the chowhall 3 times a day to eat their meals;  to go to medical, dental and mental health call-outs for treatment;  to go to chapel, law-library, library, education and classification call-outs;  to go to the inmate canteen (commissary) to purchase food items, stationary and hygiene items;  and to go to the inmate visitation park for visitation they have to use the large quantity of interconnecting sidewalks.  The sidewalks have dozens of large cracks and minor potholes in them.  Oftentimes wheelchair impaired inmates are ejected from their wheelchairs when going over the cracks and by accident fall into the potholes.  28 CFR 361;  Ganstine V. Buss, 211 U.S. Dist. Lexis 148497.  This violation is causing A.D.A. inmates to be physically hurt.

The dirt and/or grass on both sides of all the sidewalks, etc. are parallel or lesser in elevation than the sidewalks.  Often times wheelchair impaired inmates roll off the sidewalks, or are pushed off the sidewalks by other inmates intentionally.  When this happens the wheelchair impaired inmate is ejected from his wheelchair when the wheels of the wheelchair hit the dirt and/or grass.  28 CFR 36.  This violation is causing A.D.A. inmates to be physically hurt.  If the dirt and/or grass was elevated above the sidewalks, etc. it would prevent the foregoing.

1.) 28 Code of Federal Regulations 36 is the A.D.A. Accessibility Guide.

The entrances to the 8 housing dorms and numerous other entrances at Okeechobee C.I. are unsafe for wheelchair impaired inmates to pass through.  The elevated steel that the wheelchair impaired inmates have to cross over in the entrance ways oftentimes causes them to be ejected from their wheelchairs if they’re not very careful.  28 CFR 36.  This violation is causing A.D.A. inmates to be physically hurt.

Several of the restrooms at Okeechobee C.I. don’t provide accessible door hardware that can be opened with a closed fist as required by 28 CFR 36 Section 4.23.9.

Securely attached matts are not provided at the entrance of each building and into each wheelchair impaired shower in violation of 28 CFR 36 Section 4.5.3.

The counter in the law library that law clerks and orderlies stand behind to help the inmate population with their law work is more than 34 inches high from the floor in violation of 28 CFR 36 Section 5.2.

The U.S. postal mailbox and inmate request box are more than 34 inches high from the ground in violation of 28 CFR 36 Section 5.2.

The restrooms don’t have papertowel dispensers at an accessible height in violation of 28 CFR 36 4.22.7.

Okeechobee C.I. doesn’t provide adequate direction and accurate information signage for A.D.A. inmates in violation of 28 CFR Section 4.1.3 (16).

Okeechobee C.I. has 36 wheelchair accessible cells.  6 of these cells are in confinement wings.  Okeechobee C.I. doesn’t have a sufficient amount of wheelchair accessible cells to house wheelchair impaired inmates in violation of 28 CFR 36;  Florida Statute 553.503.  This is causing wheelchair impaired inmates to be housed in cells and living quarters that are not in compliance with the A.D.A.

The wheelchair impaired inmate showers have showerheads stuck to the walls like non A.D.A. wheelchair impaired showers.  These types of showerheads make it where wheelchair impaired inmates can’t properly wash the whole backside of their bodies that are in the wheelchairs.  Okeechobee C.I.’s failure to provide handheld showerheads that are connected to the showerheads on the walls via a hose so wheelchair impaired inmates can properly shower themselves is causing them to be denied proper hygiene and is in violation of 28 CFR 36.

Okeechobee C.I. has 2 inmate recreation yards.  One of the recreation yards doesn’t have any cement, etc. sidewalks on it.  Wheelchair impaired inmates cannot access it.  As it concerns the second recreation yard, wheelchair impaired inmates have sidewalks that go to the front and side of the recreation building, basketball court, small pavilion, and toilets.  On this recreation yard wheelchair impaired inmates don’t have access to the 2 large pavilions, 2 water kegs, the football and soccor fields; and because the basketball court only has enough cement to make the court, wheelchair impaired inmates cannot park their wheelchairs on the basketball court.  These violations prohibit wheelchair impaired inmates from being able to watch sporting events like the rest of the general population.  Approximately 90 percent of this recreation yard cannot be accessed by wheelchair impaired inmates.  None of the 3 pavilions have tables under them that can be used by wheelchair impaired inmates.  Neither of the recreation yards have a cement sidewalk that go all around them for wheelchair impaired inmates.  These violations make it where wheelchair impaired inmates don’t go to the recreation yards to sit in the sun, get fresh air, or watch sporting events.  28 CFR 36;  Florida Accessibility Code (Florida Statute 553.503);  Ganstine V. Buss, 2011 U.S. Dist. Lexis 148497 (2011).

Wheelchair impaired inmates cannot have access to the inmate canteens;  medical, mental health, dental and classification departments, pilline to receive medication;  and library, law library and education departments without travelling up and down inclined cement sidewalks.  Also, to exit the north and south chowhalls wheelchair impaired inmates have to travel down inclined cement sidewalks.  The health of a lot of the wheelchair impaired inmates prohibit them from being able to push themselves up the inclined cement sidewalks.  If a staff or inmate don’t help them up the inclined sidewalk, they’ll have to wait at the bottom of said sidewalk until somebody agrees to help them.  Also, a lot of the wheelchair impaired inmates can’t safely control their wheelchairs when having to travel down the inclined cement sidewalks.  This oftentimes scares them to attempt such.  Some of the wheelchair impaired inmates who attempt to travel down the inclined sidewalks without help end up hitting inmates at the bottom of the inclined sidewalks and sometimes hit the fences and/or go into the dirt and/or grass which are about 12 feet from the bottom of the inclined sidewalks.  Also, these inclined cement sidewalks don’t have handrails.  28 CFR 36.

Inmates that are acting as impaired assistants with wheelchair impaired inmates are extorting, physically and (possibly sexually) battering wheelchair impaired inmates.  28 CFR 36.

The law library at Okeechobee C.I. doesn’t have a primary research book/source for A.D.A. inmates to research A.D.A. violations.  This violation makes it where A.D.A. inmates can’t properly defend themselves against A.D.A. violations in violation of the A.D.A. and 28 CFR 36.

RELIEF SOUGHT

For the U.S. Department of Justice Disability Rights Section, Florida Governor, and Florida Department of Corrections to take immediate action to correct the A.D.A. violations mentioned herein that are at Okeechobee Correctional Institution.

Executed on this 2 day of December 2016.

UNNOTARIZED OATH

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

Affiant:  (Signature of Harold Hempstead appears here on original handwritten document)

Harold Hempstead, D.C.# 268866, Okeechobee Correctional Institution, 3420 North East 168th Street, Okeechobee, Florida 34972

C.C.  ACLU of Florida (Howard Simon)

Stop Prison Abuse Now (Steven Wetstein)

Disability Rights Florida (Molly Paris)

Florida Legal Service (Peter Sleasman)

Florida Justice Institute (Randall Berg)

Forgotten Majority

Human Rights Defence Center (Lance T.Weber)

Miami Herald Newspaper (Julie Brown)

WTVT Fox 13 Tampa (Craig Patrick)

CBS 4 Miami (Michele Gillen)

New Yorker Magazine (Eyal Press)

Tampa Bay Times

Palm Beach Post (Pat Beall)

Windy Hempstead

Susan Chandler

George Mallinckrodt

Jeremy Schanche