Family Sues Over New York Prison Death as Ex-Inmate Speaks Out on ‘Beat Up Squad’

Bill Perkins

September 10, 2015

The New York Times | September 10th, 2015 | By Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz

Senator Perkins stood in solidarity with the family of Samuel Harrell as they announced the filing of a Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit in the death of their beloved son, brother and husband. 


Senator Perkins said:  “The homicide; frankly, the murder of Samuel Harrell at the hands of nearly 20 correctional officers, the infamous Beat Up Squad of Fishkill—is shocking to the conscience.  It reinforces what many of us already know:  we have a human rights crisis here in New York State. 


The lesson to be learned from the tragic taking of Mr. Harrell’s life is this:  no longer can we view each incident of correctional officer on individual violence as distinct and disparate.  System-wide reform is needed to address a system-wide breakdown in mission that imperils our collective safety.”


The Times article characterizes another important pint echoed by the Senator; namely, where does the Governor stand on the correctional crisis in our State.  The article says:  “At a news conference held by Mr. Harrell’s family and their lawyers on Wednesday, State Senator Bill Perkins, who represents Harlem, criticized Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, for not publicly responding to reports of abuse at the prison. “Where is Governor Cuomo?” Mr. Perkins asked. “He has not said a single word about Fishkill.”


Read the full article here.  See video here. 


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