Dead Over Mere Fines 

A woman who was arrested at a hospital over the summer for failing to pay court fines died the next day because she was deprived of water at the Charleston County jail, her family’s attorneys said Wednesday.

Joyce Curnell, 50, of Edisto Island was found dead in the jail shortly before 5 p.m. July 22, a day after being taken from Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, where she had been treated for a stomach illness.

She spent the last 27 hours of her life behind bars. During that time she became too sick to eat or call for help, according to court documents filed this week. She vomited all night and couldn’t make it to a bathroom, so jailers gave her a trash bag. Some medical staffers ignored the jail officials’ requests to tend to her, the documents alleged.

Via Post and Courier.

Knowing as a Right

While Flint residents now know that their water is no good, they still don’t know how exactly their water was contaminated— because exemptions to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allow the governor and state legislators to keep that truth hidden.

During his State of the State address, Gov. Snyder announced that he would release his emails from 2014 and 2015 as a show of good faith and transparency. But this story began even before Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley signed a 2014 order forcing the city to drink harsh river water….

Via Flint’s Poisoned Children Deserve the Truth @ American Civil Liberties Union.

Public University Mistreats Another Sex Assault Survivor

Second federal complaint against UW-Whitewater in eighteen months:

Raechel Liska, aged 22.  Photo from Channel 3000.

“I got assaulted twice,” Liska said. “Once by my attacker, which was the traumatic, horrific part, but again by the school, which was the betrayal.”

Liska said UWW Dean of Students Mary Beth Mackin violated her civil rights by refusing to interview two witnesses and by not accepting either the police report or her medical records stemming from the incident. She also asserts Mackin did not issue a no-contact order against her alleged attacker, even as he retaliated and intimidated her after she spoke to authorities. Further, it was the Army that stepped in and removed her assailant from her classes three months after the incident in question, even after she’d asked the university to do the same multiple times, only to be rebuffed.

“The reason I filed my complaint is because something here needs to change,” she said. “I thought the dean of students would be protecting the students, protecting me. She’s the dean of students. I thought I’d be her priority, but I walked out feeling like protecting the school was her top priority.”

Via Sex assault survivor claims discrimination by university @ WISC-TV Madison, Channel 3000.

Border Patrol Abuses

Today, the ACLU’s Border Litigation Project released a damning report on the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection “interior operations” that should serve as a wake up call for Washington policy makers.

Titled “Record of Abuse: Lawlessness and Impunity in Border Patrol’s Interior Enforcement Operations”, the 31 page report is supplemented by hundreds of pages of documents obtained through an ongoing Freedom of Information Act lawsuit….

Via Border Patrol Out Of Control | Cato@Liberty.

See, also, ACLU Report.

Debtor’s prison as a death sentence

“Unable to pay an outstanding debt of $409 in court fines, Mr Staten was arrested and sentenced to 16 days in Mississippi’s Harrison County Jail. Shortly after being booked at the jail, Mr Staten fell seriously ill. Despite his obvious symptoms and his cellmates’ cries for help, the jail’s privately-contracted medical staff allowed his condition…

The Tragedy of Dr. Oz

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon and vice chairman of the surgery department at Columbia University’s medical school. Most people know him, sadly, as a celebrity,  television star, or as a promoter of quack remedies. Other prominent physicians across America, at leading institutions, have had enough of the embarrassment that Oz’s sales pitches are…

Public Officials at Public University Ignore Sexual Assault Victim

When well-paid administrators at a public university, heavily dependent on public money, say they’re public servants, ask them about this: Graduate speaks about filing Title IX complaint against UW-Whitewater @ WISC-TV. UW-Whitewater is the public college in my town of Whitewater, Wisconsin.  Here’s what happened to a woman who filed a complaint under Title IX…

The couple that discards together…

Guess Mr. Wolf wasn’t available: Police were called to an Oregon landfill on Feb. 20 after the state’s former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) and his fiancee were spotted there dumping trash amid a federal investigation surrounding his time in office, The Oregonian newspaper reported on Friday. Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, had rarely been seen in…

Ferguson, Mo.

“In weighing whether to bring discrimination charges against the Ferguson Police Department, the Justice Department has been ‘seriously examining’ allegations that the city’s enforcement of minor offenses discriminated against minorities and often led to jail time and to fines that lined the city’s coffers,” a law enforcement official confirmed to POLITICO on Tuesday. “Justice Department…

Improvisation when police departments won’t admit misconduct

An alternative to know information at all: The largest organization of public defenders in the country is building a “cop accountability” database, aimed at helping defense attorneys question the credibility of police officers in court. The database was created by the Legal Aid Society, a New York–based nonprofit that represents an average of 230,000 people…

Garbage in, A Boy’s Homicide Out

The Cleveland Police officer who shot twelve-year-old Tamir Rice had a documented history of failure in a prior department: Records from the Independence Police Departmentt obtained by CNN include comments from a supervisor detailing what they called “a pattern of lack of maturity, indiscretion and not following instructions,” a “dangerous loss of composure during live…

Police pepper-spray black foster child in his own home

Quick to reject his explanation, because how could a black child have white parents and siblings?  Quick to pepper spray, because how could he not stay calm when they accused him of not living there?  Quick to think that this black child was a possible burglar, because wasn’t there criminal activity in the neighborhood? Fuquay-Varina…

Community Policing in Chicago

[Cmdr. Glenn] Evans, 52, was removed from his commander’s duties at the West Side Harrison police district and assigned to paid desk duty at police headquarters after he was charged last month with allegedly shoving his service weapon down a man’s throat. More recently, a Cook County grand jury has indicted him on two counts…