(Truth-telling re cruel prison profiteering, incl. indictments against federal officials, Dog Justice poem, 14 links, 5 photos) The Salt Lake City Tribune reports that a young prisoner who apparently suffered from serious mental illness died of starvation and dehydration after spending four months in the Salt Lake County Jail, much of them in solitary confinement. Carlos Umana, 20, weighed at 180 pounds when he entered the jail in October 2011; when he died on February 27, 2012 he weighed just 77 pounds (see photographs below). Tests showed that none of his prescribed psychiatric drugs were in his system at the time of his death.
after starvation in jail
As a teenager, Umana was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. According to the Tribune, his mother, Tammy Martinez, said that Umana had ”stopped taking his medication in the fall. ’Then he started hearing voices and thinking people was poisoning him,’ Martinez said. Umana was so concerned about people poisoning him, she said, that he started preparing all his own food.”
On October 26, Umana stabbed his mother’s boyfriend, who was preparing a meal in her kitchen; he later told the police that he believed the man was going to kill him. He was charged him with first-degree felony attempted murder and held in the county jail. The Tribune describes what happened next:
Martinez said within a few days of Umana’s arrest, she took the jail his medications. Jail staff wouldn’t take the pills, but did write down the prescriptions, she said.
It’s not clear when Umana stopped consuming food and water. [Lt. Mike] DeNiro said Umana had been in the jail’s health unit but was removed for bad behavior. DeNiro declined to elaborate.
Jail staff moved Umana to the administrative segregation unit. The unit has a higher level of security and each inmate there has a cell to himself. Each cell has a drinking fountain and meals are provided to the inmates.
Martinez said she saw her son a few days after Christmas. Then Umana lost his visiting privileges due to misbehavior. Martinez said she has never been told what her son did wrong.
On Jan. 20, staff decided to return Umana to the health unit. DeNiro said Umana’s refusal to consume food or water was just one reason for the move. DeNiro again declined to elaborate, but he did say that prior to 2008, a patient with Umana’s problems would have been moved to a hospital. In 2008, the jail opened an acute care unit in its own health ward.
On Feb. 8, Martinez said, a female jail employee called her to say Umana was refusing to eat and had taken only two showers since his arrival at the jail. According to Martinez, the woman said jail staff were having a meeting that day to decide what to do.
Martinez was allowed to see her son three days later. From the other side of the protective glass, Martinez said she could tell Umana was in trouble. He was thin, his eyes were sunken and he had trouble holding up his head. He said something about the water in the jail being too hot.
“He said, ‘Mom, I need to get out of here. I won’t make it in here,’ ” Martinez recalled.
The woman jail employee called Martinez the next day to ask how the visit went. Martinez told her Umana was not well. Martinez said she assumed the jail would take care of the problem. Meanwhile, Umana’s court case was delayed while the judge and the attorneys waited for results from a mental health professional about whether Umana was competent to stand trial. The results of that review have not been made public.
The last time Carlos Umana was seen with food was five days before his death, and even then he was only “picking” at his meal, according to a medical examiner’s report Martinez’s family shared with The Tribune . About 6 a.m. on Feb. 27, a guard performing a regular check found Umana kneeling over the toilet in his cell. Umana did not respond to the guard’s calls. When staff entered the cell, Umana was unconscious. An IV was started, he was placed on a stretcher and staff began performing CPR. At 6:42 a.m., as staff were preparing to wheel him to an ambulance, Umana was pronounced dead.
Martinez received a telephone message from someone on the jail staff telling her to call back right away to discuss her son. Martinez believed the message would be news that Umana had made a turn for the better. When Martinez called, she couldn’t believe what she was hearing when a jail employee said Umana was dead.
Postmortem tests did not find the presence of any drugs — an indication Umana was not taking medications for his mental illness. In his report, the medical examiner ruled the manner of death was natural causes due to starvation and dehydration, but the medical examiner listed Umana’s mental illness as a likely contributing factor. (See the balance of the article and Utah officials' statement on the inmate's starvation at the last link below.)
At least Utah authorities did not hide Umana's death like Memphis/Shelby County Jail and the USDOJ hid the secret arrest and murder of my brother, Larry Neal - Federal and local officials conspired to prevent my family from ever knowing how Larry was murdered - starvation? restraint chair or table? tasering? brutality? The conspiracy to cover-up Larry's murder was facilitated by unethical attorneys at The (Johnnie) Cochran Firm, which contracted with Larry's survivors to be his wrongful death attorneys immediately after he died, but the devious attorneys secretly withheld all legal action against the jail to help officials escape with Larry's murder. The Cochran Firm apparently became a CoIntelPro program against black and brown people after Johnnie Cochran's death. In 2003, the United States Department of Justice conspired with Shelby County officials to hide Larry's death in circumstances like those that led to the grand jury indictment of Vice President Chaney and Attorney General Gonzales in Willacy County, Texas in 2008.
Update: Lawless America published Utah news on April 10, 2012: “Would you believe Utah ranks as The Most Corrupt State in a recent Nationwide Poll?” A recent nation wide poll rated US State Governments on their competency, honesty and genuine hard work for the betterment of their state citizens. The link to the report is http://goo.gl/PFGNB - "Lawless America - The Movie" is being filmed in all 50 states to gather first person reports from victims of government and judicial corruption.
America's elected and appointed government officials, judges, defense attorneys and prosecutors, and other decision makers should divest themselves of private prison stock. Lawmakers and those who enforce the laws (the USDOJ and police officers) are guilty of INSIDE TRADING when they enact "tough on crime" laws and reduce funds for mental health care to send millions of Americans to prison in order to increse their own stock portfolios. Mentally challenged Americans and immigrants are treated worse than dogs in the U.S.A. People deserve at least the same protections as animals. See my censored poem, "Dog Justice."
I was so impressed with the zeal to enforce justice for pit bulls that I penned this poem, wishing that black men and mentally ill Americans of every race counted as much as dogs in the U.S.A. and that their right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness were protected like canine citizens are protected:
Too bad you weren't a dog, my brother
In my heart, I cried
Many more people would care about you
And wonder why you died
You had no spots or floppy ears
You never fetched a ball
Instead, you were a human being
But poor, black, and flawed
You died in jail for mental illness
I know down in my heart
Your death would be investigated
If only you could bark
Dog deaths get swift justice
Their abusers are sent to jail
Poor Mama would have closure now
If you'd had a wagging tail
But you were made in God's image
And some day, I have no doubt
The mentally ill and American dogs
Will have at least equal clout
~ by Mary Neal, all rights protected
Jesus wept, and so did I. How do you feel about the mass incarceration and murders of American mental patients? See more at the links below:
Conspiracy Against the Neal Family's Civil Rights
http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/conspiracy-against-neal-familys-civil.html (mainstream media company owners are likely prison investors like many judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors, elected officials, and Department of Justice personnel, so the media censors my reports, especially because I reveal The Cochran Firm fraud against minorities).
Website: Wrongful Death of Larry Neal - http://wrongfuldeathoflarryneal.com/
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill http://www.Care2.com/c2c/group/AIMI
TRY to follow me at Twitter where I am @koffietime, and I'll try to follow you back. http://twitter.com/koffietime
Free Speak Blog - http://freespeakblog.blogspot.com/
Justice Gagged - http://justicegagged.com/blogspot.com
MaryLovesJustice - http://marylovesjustice.blogspot.com/
Mary Neal's Care2 Sharebook - http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/sharebook/513396753
Mary Neal on HubPages - http://hubpages.com/profile/Mary+Neal
"duo" at NowPublic.com - http://NowPublic.com/duo
Mary Neal at OpEd News - http://www.opednews.com/author/author19344.html
Full articles regarding the Utah tragedy are at these links:Solitary Watch.com
The Salt Lake Tribune