Saturday, January 28, 2012

Part 2: An Unanswered Call for Answers

Below is the actual letter that was sent to Special Agent Lamkin and the Federal Bureau of Investigations seeking answers for the very questionable death of Roberto Martinez Medina. Mr. Medina died while he was in the custody of Corrections Corporation of America at the For-profit Stewart Detention Center. To this day no one from the FBI or Department of Homeland Security has contacted me to investigate this matter or respond to my very serious allegations relating to his untimely death. 

Incidentally I still feel "that this issue is much bigger than a blog entry on my humble blog." However I now feel that I'm left with no choice but to release my allegations here to possibly force a government investigation into this matter by airing the actual complaint as well as highlighting this incident that I believe led to the Department of Homeland Security to target myself and my blog for a rather lengthy and detailed investigation. In Part 3 I will focus on media coverage related to my blog and in Part 4 I will focus on the actual investigation that ICE/DHS conducted on me. (Picture is courtesy of Georgia Detention Watch).

Special Agent Lamkin,

Almost two years ago Roberto Medina died at the Stewart Detention Center (SDC) in Lumpkin, GA. This is a private for profit facility operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). It is my belief that CCA and Public Health Services workers have covered up pertinent details of his death and that Mr. Medina had his civil rights violated while in custody. Public Health Services provides medical services at SDC.

I would like to request that your agency look into this incident and resolve the many questions that still exist almost two years after his death. I run a blog that has previously reported on conditions at SDC. I was contacted by a current employee that revealed the following timeline concerning Mr. Medina's death:

2000 Hours (8 PM) - Roberto Medina is alive and lying on his bunk. Detainees report to Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) staff members that Mr. Medina is very sick. The control room operator is asked by another CCA staff member to call medical to get Mr. Medina treatment. Several second shift officers then state that medical already knew and that Mr. Medina was fine. A staff member calls medical on the telephone from the unit anyway. Medical staff tells this staff member that the Public Health Service (PHS) doctor had previously seen Mr. Medina and that he was "okay."

0100 (1 AM) Before 2nd count a CCA staff member calls a "Medical Emergency" over the radio. Instead of coming to the unit (as policy requires) a medical staff member calls the unit on the telephone and asks what the emergency is. PHS were told on the phone that Mr. Medina was "very sick" and "would not respond" to CCA staff members. PHS again asserted that they were not coming to the unit because Mr. Medina had already been seen by medical and that he was fine. After count a different staff member was put into the housing unit with Mr. Medina. This was allegedly because the previous staff member was causing "trouble" by calling medical emergencies and medical staff about Mr. Medina's health status. A staff member alleges that Mr. Medina was deceased at the time of the 0100 count.

The next day staff learned that Mr. Medina had died. Word was sent to at least one staff member by the Sergeant on duty (at the Captains request) that they needed to keep "there mouth shut about stuff that they did not know anything about or that they might loose there job for talking about someones medical condition." Staff members were also reminded that CCA had had them all sign a privacy statement at the time that they were hired.

It is my belief that CCA and PHS violated Mr. Medina's civil rights by not providing him with emergency medical care. Furthermore that CCA and PHS both have attempted to cover-up the incident and that plenty of evidence of this exists if a proper investigation was to be conducted by your agency. Your agency should consider reviewing log book entries, video tape and interviewing staff on duty that day etc.

Mr. Medina was denied medical care over several shifts even though both staff and detainees attempted to get him seen by doctors. I feel that this issue is much bigger than a blog entry on my humble blog and deserves to be looked into in a much more formal manner.

Best Wishes,
Bryan L. Holcomb