Guards locked Darren Rainey, an inmate serving a prison sentence, in the shower room and turned on scalding hot water, as high as 180°
Darren Rainey, an inmate arrested by the police for cocaine possession, was serving a two-year prison sentence at the Dade Correctional Institution in South Florida. Rainey was a diagnosed patient of schizophrenia. The on-duty guards forced and locked him in the shower. Thereafter, from outside, they turned on scalding hot water, which as hot as 180°. The guards then walked off.
Since he had passed stool in his cell and had smeared faeces on himself and the walls, the guards locked him. They said that they won’t let him out until he cleans himself up
Later, a fellow inmate reported hearing Rainey shouting:
“I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.”
As the room filled with steam, it became difficult for Rainey to cope up. Approximately 2 hours later, the guards came back to check on him. However, at that time they found him dead, lying on his back on the floor immersed in around 3 inches of water.
His skin was red and had started to peel off. Miami Herald reported that flecks of skin were floating in the water next to him. One inmate said he looked like a “boiled lobster.”
A thorough investigation revealed that Dade guards would drench the inmates with chemicals, starve them, and force them to fight.
Despite all the above findings, four years after Rainey died, the state cleared the four guards involved without any repercussions. None of the guards was charged as the state regarded Rainey’s death an accident.
“Placing an inmate who has defecated upon himself in a shower to decontaminate himself is not conduct that is criminally reckless. There was no evidence of any intent to harm Rainey.”
“The evidence fails to show that any correctional officer acted in reckless disregard of Rainey’s life. Rainey died of a combination of factors; including complications from his schizophrenia, an undiagnosed heart disease, and ‘confinement in a shower.’”
Regarding the peeing of skin, the investigators said:
“The peeling of Rainey’s skin — a condition called “slippage” — wasn’t caused by the heat of the shower. Instead by friction or pressure on his body, which could have occurred when medics tried to revive or move him.”
Medical Examiner Emma Lew said:
“It is not substantiated that the temperatures inside the shower room were excessively high.”
Milton Grimes, an attorney for Rainey’s family, said:
“This is not justice for Darren, for his family, nor for the mentally ill who have been subject to similar abuse and mistreatment.”
The case is pending.