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🚨🚨On 24 JUN at 3:58pm we requested that District Attorney Billy West consider charges against Sheriff Ennis Wright for Willful Failure to Discharge Duties. We requested a full investigation of current conditions inside the CCDC, the dereliction of duties that led to the COVID-19 Cluster, allegations of cover-up and recent retaliation against inmates who have spoken out about the cluster. The DA has yet to respond.
Especially after Governor Cooper mandated masks for all North Carolinians, we continue to advocate for masks and testing for everyone in the Cumberland County Detention Center. The CCDC is the site of the largest outbreak of any jail in the state yet Sheriff Wright refuses to provide masks to all and refuses to test everyone across the board.
On Monday 22 June, PACT reached out to MAJ Adams, Sheriff Wright and LT Swain via email and offered to coordinate for 100% COVID-19 testing in CCDC. Pending the approval of the detention center leadership, a crew of medical professionals is on standby, prepared to promptly conduct the testing. The tests can all be conducted in a matter of days. Results from testing can be returned within 48hrs. As of Friday, July 3rd nobody from the CCSO has responded.
Since our Press Conference at the jail on Friday June 19th, we have received an outpouring of public support on this urgent issue. In addition we’ve received information from friends, family members and even those currently incarcerated. The information paints a picture of desperation, disease, humiliation and injustice.
Among the Allegations are claims that:
● Inmates have led 2 hunger strikes in protest of unsafe conditions.
● In response to a protest about the COVID-19 conditions, COs came in guns drawn to put everyone in lockback
● Inmates who tested positive in May received a paper documenting the result; The same group was tested a second time were given a verbal response... yet as of 23 June had not received a paper copy of the results
● Multiple men claim that cleaning of the facility is infrequent
● During one period of quarantine, inmates were limited to 20 minutes of recreation (out of the cells) every other day
● Men from one pod note that over 20 out of around 43 total tested positive. This is inconsistent with what CCSO is claiming to be cumulative numbers (see this DHHS spreadsheet for outbreak numbers updated every Tuesday and Friday at 4pm) https://files.nc.gov/…/dashboard/Weekly-COVID19-Ongoing-Out…
● Inmates were not allowed to watch the news on tv following Friday’s press conference
● The men have made many complaints and suggestions about masks and lack of COVID protection and have been ignored
● An inmate attempted to send out mail regarding COVID allegations (to ACLU and others) 2 weeks ago- believes that mail is being held
● At least one inmate suffers from anxiety attacks following the lock down (16 May); Said that Mental health care hasn't been provided in 2-3 months; believes that the last contractor quit because of an overdue bill
● Inmates were told that if anyone tested positive, they would all have to go to cells and both negative and positive inmates were put on quarantine (this discourages people from coming forward with health concerns)
● There is only hot water in the cells
● allegations that an inmate complained about chills for 3 days before being given medical attention. Inmates speculate that he has been taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center
● Inmates suspect backlash from COs for calling attention to mixture of positive and negative inmates; one inmate submitted a complaint to the nurse via the kiosk. Following his complaint his lawyer was prevented from seeing him and the complaint subsequently disappeared from kiosk display
● Following one of the COVID uprisings, one inmate was threatened with a beanbag gun to his head. He says that the threat was made because he made comment about black inmates being forcibly led backward out of cell and white inmates being allowed to walk out forward.
● Multiple inmates say that men who had previously tested positive were reintroduced to the population after quarantine… without being retested
● No correspondence with family for much of the quarantine
● MAJ Adams addressed the group and warned them about people "giving out misinformation" . On 24 June MAJ Adams allegedly interrogated a whistleblower; deputies are believed to have searched his bunk at this point and examined sensitive legal documents
● noted that inmates who had previously tested positive were mixed with those who had tested negative prior to 14 day quarantine being complete
● According to a man who previously worked in the kitchen… all 29 in the kitchen pod were tested - only 1 or 2 were positive- However, kitchen workers were not provided masks when he was working there in May
● Allege that during quarantine they were only allowed to shower every other day
PACT believes that providing masks and testing to men and women in a COVID-19 impacted facility is a Human Rights Issue. Aggressive and humane action from our local elected officials and law enforcement officials could have possibly mitigated the outbreak. We must all demand that they ACT NOW before lives are lost unnecessarily.
DA Billy West : (910) 475-3010
CCS Ennis Wright: (910) 677-5410
***Update: As of 03 July DA Billy West has failed to respond. One of the whistleblowers from inside the jail has been retaliated against with transfer. There are levels of corruption in Fayetteville and Cumberland County that will continue until our elected officials are held accountable. Please share.
Urgency of Now
Here in Fayetteville, if you have an allegation of misconduct against police.... you take it to... the police.
This is part of the problem folks.
Keep in mind that arrests weren't made in the Arbery case because Ahmaud was murdered....
Arrests were made because you FOUND OUT (saw) Ahmaud was murdered
We very likely would not know who George Floyd was were it not for the courage of bystanders
WE NEED OVERSIGHT OF POLICE
The Citizen Review Board for oversight of the FPD has been delayed since 2014. Justice has been denied and the can kicked down the road.
It's time for our leaders at the City and County level to deliver or make way for leaders who will.
We need your energy. Your ideas.
Your voice. To get involved now... please contact us.
COVID-19 in Cumberland County Detention Center
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