Household of first particular person to die of COVID-19 in ICE custody sues


“The lawsuit, filed within the Southern District of California by Escobar Mejia’s three siblings, alleges negligence, deliberate indifference to severe well being and security wants and wrongful loss of life,” The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. “The grievance argues that officers held Escobar Mejia in situations that they ‘knew would expose him to a plague.’” This has been the norm at a number of detention camps: Earlier this month, a federal judge slammed another private prison profiteer, GEO Group, for the “appalling” dealing with of the virus inside its facility, additionally in California.

The Guardian reported in Could that Escobar Mejia had complained to his sister about his therapy whereas detained at Otay Mesa, saying he wasn’t receiving correct take care of his diabetes. He additionally suffered from “hypertension, coronary heart issues and an amputated foot,” the report mentioned, all of which ought to have made the case for him to be allowed to shelter at residence. However ICE refused and he grew to become sick amid the horrific outbreak at the facility. 

The Union-Tribune stories that the lawsuit states that “[b]y the time defendant transported him to the hospital, Mr. Escobar was gasping for air and dying. He acquired a blood transfusion however he had already been too weakened by the virus.” In letters launched days after the loss of life, dozens of immigrants nonetheless detained at Otay Mesa released a letter slamming therapy of the person, and pleading with quite a few high elected leaders from the state to assist safe their very own launch. 

”Not till Mr. Escobar was so sick that he couldn’t stand up and was laying in his bunk after throwing up in his trash can did they lastly determine to maneuver him out of M pod,” the detained people wrote. “Now as a substitute of taking him straight to the hospital figuring out he was diabetic and at larger threat, they took him subsequent door to L pod the place all of the COVID-19 constructive and sick people had been at. Lastly, when he might now not breathe he was taken to the hospital. By this time, an excessive amount of time had been wasted and it was too late.”

Officers in cost at this facility have recognized precisely what they’ve been doing as a result of they’ve been attempting to cowl it up, blocking detained people from making phone calls to advocates out of supposed “security issues.” Otay Mesa Detention Resistance tweeted on the time, “[t]his is harmful as a result of we do not know what abuses are taking place inside if we won’t obtain calls.” Officials eventually reversed this decision following public outrage.

“These amenities don’t care in regards to the folks or the information of their lives,” Escobar Mejia’s sister Rosa instructed The Guardian. “These are non-public establishments making a living off of immigrants.” The Union-Tribune stories that following his loss of life, detained folks at Otay Mesa wrote notes apologizing to his family for his loss of life. “The one contact Escobar Mejia’s siblings acquired after his loss of life, the lawsuit says, was from the funeral residence demanding $1,700 to cremate their brother,” the report continues.





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