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Texas Sheriff Fires 11 Employees, 6 Suspends for Death of Prisoner after being investigated

A Texas sheriff fired 11 department employees and suspended six without pay this week. in connection with the death of a prisoner who was found unresponsive in his cell in February. After being accused of being beaten several times by officers

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Friday that the laid-off employees On February 16, the three-month-old sheriff’s Jaquaree Simmons, 23, allegedly quarreled with detention officials on Feb. 16. Found an investigation within the office.

Simmons was incarcerated on a weapons charge last week, according to the Houston public.

On the morning of Feb. 16, Simmons clogs his bathroom in clothes. and after the officers cleaned the flooded cell They brought him back to his cell with his clothes off. which is an alleged violation of the policy that is not reported

“When the prisoner̵

7;s clothes are taken off You should guide the supervisor. You should increase the rate of visual examination. And you should let the smock kill yourself.” Major Thomas Diaz of Harris County The sheriff’s office said, according to the Houston public media. “None of those things happened.”

later that night A detention officer was accused of beating Simmons after he threw a tray of food at the officer and charged him. According to the official When more officers were called to bring him in for a checkup. They hit him on the head several times, said Diaz, who led the internal affairs investigation.


Simmons told the prison doctors he had no pain. Just cut his face and was sent back to jail. Authorities failed to bring him back to the clinic for follow-up X-rays, Diaz said, and found him unresponsive in his cell at noon on February 17. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. come

The incident took place against the backdrop of a deadly Texas winter storm.

The investigation found that detention officials failed to visually examine the inmates in the cell where Simmons was held from Feb. 15 to the time before he was found in Diaz’s cell on Feb. 17. These checks are usually done electronically. But the system stopped working due to a winter storm.

Medical examiners ruled Simmons’ death as murder from his head injury.

“They abused their power,” Gonzalez continued to rebuke him. “Their behavior towards Mr Simmons is reprehensible. They completely disregard the safety and welfare of those they are directly responsible for protecting. They intensified instead of degrading the situation. Their actions are unacceptable and unforgivable. and their actions discredited them. the sheriff’s office and their fellow employees No one deserves the Harris County Sheriff’s Office sign anymore.”

The fired officer violated the department’s policies, which included excessive use of force. Failed to record the use of force. It did not intervene when fellow officers used force and falsely accused investigators, Diaz said.

Gonzalez said unless the officials were suspended. “Promptly and consistently demonstrate compliance and compliance with all sheriff’s office policies.” They could be punished or fired.


“I understand that these disciplinary sanctions do not compensate for what happened to Jaquaree Simmons in our prison, but I owe him, his mother and our community to do everything in my power to ensure that those who are motivated by their actions are indebted. participate in it Take responsibility and this will never happen again,” he said, according to KPRC-TV in Houston.

After announcing her dismissal, Simmons’ mother, LaRhonda Biggles, said she wanted justice for her son.

“Every day I can’t eat, sleep, and so are my children,” she said, KPRC reported. “I want them to be arrested. I want them to take responsibility for what they did to my son.”

President Biden named Gonzalez last month to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Agency (ICE).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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