Lawsuit: Power Failure at Federal Jail a Humanitarian Crisis

Lawsuit: Power Failure at Federal Jail a Humanitarian Crisis

Lawsuit: Power Failure at Federal Jail a Humanitarian Crisis

This is a breaking news story. One sign made out of tape on the facility wall read "This is not ok". Another inmate said he was brought to tears in fear that no one will notice if he suffers an asthma attack.

A tense rally was held outside the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn following news reports that hundreds of inmates there have spent the past week largely without power or the ability to communicate with their attorneys or families.

Prisoners call out to protesters and family members gathers outside the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal prison where prisoners have been without heat, hot water, electricity and proper sanitation due to an electrical failure since earlier in the week, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in the Brooklyn borough of NY. Now, inmates have taken matters in their own hands to reveal the conditions they are facing as a result of the weather.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on the federal Department of Justice to investigate the circumstances around inmates going without heat and electricity at a federal detention center in New York City. "They just stay huddled up in the bed", June Bencebi, case manager at the jail, told the Times.

The organization is requesting a hearing to "evaluate the conditions of confinement that are infringing the constitutional rights of inmates at the MDC and require the Defendants to supply information about those conditions" and appoint a "special master" to inspect the facility and "undertake the fact finding necessary to determine whether Defendants are protecting the constitutional rights of inmates in their custody", the lawsuit states. Patton said he was unable to go into detail about the suit until after it is filed.

In a statement Sunday, officials said inmates had hot water for showers and in their cells' sinks, and they estimated that power would be fully restored by Monday. "The heating problems seem to be independent".

The suit, which accuses the Federal Bureau of Prisons of lying about conditions inside the jail, comes after days of protests, which began after inmates drew attention to their plight by making noise that could be heard on the streets below the jail. A new electrical panel has been installed but crews need to restore power.

According to a video sent our way, inmates detailed the conditions in the jail, saying there is no heat in any of the cells, and that there is limited lighting, with only two of the lights working in the main area for inmates.

Murchison's son Desmond, who she said has been awaiting trial for a year at the Sunset Park jail, shouted to his mother through metal grates on Sunday. According to The New York Times, attorneys actually began losing access earlier in January and the jail blamed it on the federal shutdown.

Defense lawyers have not been able to visit inmates who were reporting little or no heat, little or no hot water, minimal electricity, near total lack of access to some medical services, or access to telephones, televisions, computers, laundry or commissary, it said.

"These units had a panicky feeling", von Dornum wrote.

A number of leaders and lawmakers visited the jail, including Rep.

He said inmates are able to call their public defenders and attorneys, but have not been able to contact family members.

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