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Articles Posted in Law Enforcement

The United States Supreme Court in favor of an inmate in Taylor v. Riojas, a decision that was issued yesterday.

What happened in Taylor?

Texas inmate Trent Taylor was subjected to inhumane conditions in his Texas jail cell, after being committed to the unit following a suicide attempt.  The conditions described were horrifying.  Taylor was stripped naked and placed in a cell covered in feces from previous residents.  The feces contaminated his water supply, leading Taylor to not eat or drink for four days out of fear of becoming ill.   Correctional officers then moved Taylor to another cell, which was equally horrific.  The second cell was a “seclusion cell” with no bed or other furniture,  and no toilet to use, just a drain for bodily fluids.  As if the conditions would not get worse, the cell was frigidly cold, and Taylor had nothing but a suicide blanket for warmth.  He was forced to sleep on the urine-soaked floor.  As a result of these conditions, he could not use the bathroom for over 24 hours, and as a result, Taylor suffered a distended bladder requiring catheterization.

Together, African American narcotics officers and the Guardian Civil League have filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Philadelphia, the Philidelphia Police Department, and two narcotics supervisors; the basis for this lawsuit arose from the officers’ claims of racial discrimination and retaliation. The discrimination, officers’ say, is a result of their not wanting to cooperate with the narcotics bureau commanders orders to falsify drug-arrest paperwork.

The civil rights lawsuit highlighted a few of the major issues circulating within the Philidelphia Police Department; narcotics bureau commanders told their officers to disregard and ultimately ignore the department’s rules, withhold and change the names of the informants as well as other information used during drug prosecutions. By refusing to carry out such arrests, the African American narcotics officers say they have since been racially discriminated against.

The Guardian Civic League represents African American Police Offices in PA. 

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