[3/18/17] Prosecutors in Florida have announced they will not be bringing charges against four prison guards who held a black, schizophrenic prison inmate in a hot shower for hours.
The memo, released on Friday by the office of the Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, concluded Darren Rainey had died in part because of undiagnosed heart disease and suffered no scalding injuries.
It ends a nearly five-year probe into the death of the 50-year-old at the Dale Correctional Institution where he was serving a two-year sentence on a cocaine charge.
Rainey was taken to the shower on 23 June 2012 after he had smeared faeces on himself, the walls of his cell and his bedsheets, according to the memo written by Assistant State Attorneys Kathleen Hoague and Johnette Hardiman.
The shower, which was operated from an adjoining room by a corrections officer to prevent inmates from turning it off, was activated but Rainey refused to stand under the water, according to the memo.
Officer Roland Clarke told Rainey he couldn’t go back to his cell until he washed off. Finally, Rainey said he would comply and asked for soap, which he was given, the memo says.
After starting to wash, Rainey said, “No, I don’t want to do this,” and leaned on a wall away from the water, Officer Clarke told investigators.
Officers continued to check on him, and finally after about two hours the decision was made to take Rainey out of the shower, but he was found lying face up in about 3 inches (8 centimetres) of water with no pulse and not breathing.
But the memo rejected claims made by another inmate, Harold Hempstead, that he had heard Rainey yelling and kicking at the shower door, saying “I’m sorry. I won’t do it anymore” and “I can’t take it no more” and hearing the guards laughing.