Matthew Hines’ death was a homicide……..

…..and the perpetrators have not been charged!

Referencing the posting on Matthew Hines from October 2 of last year (Matthew Hines died. Chapter the second), a use-of-force incident at Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick ended with the death of an inmate with a history of mental illness.

“In this case, everything that could go wrong in a use-of-force intervention went wrong,” is how Canada’s new Correctional Investigator Ivan Zinger summed up his May 2nd report. The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Patrick White added in his “Ombudsman report slams N.B. prison for inmate’s death”, that the report’s conclusion “is damning and far-reaching: Correctional Service Canada (CSC) failed Mr. Hines, his family and the public from the moment officers tackled him that night (May 25, 2015) on through to misleading public explanations and, finally to an absence of accountability for a ‘preventable’ death.”

The New Brunswick coroner finally released his report, after lengthy stalls, and concluded the 33-year-old died from acute asphyxia due to pulmonary edema, a condition caused by excess fluid in the lungs. The family was initially told that he died of a seizure.

How did this happen? Correctional Service Canada employees….guards…. repeatedly pepper-sprayed the inmate directly in the face and at close range, not only without apparent cause, but contrary to CSC policy and against the manufacturer’s recommendations. These same guards had earlier viciously and unnecessarily beat this man bloody. What’s more, an institutional duty nurse, arriving on the scene of an inmate in distress and not moving, didn’t even check the man’s vital signs. The Correctional Investigator found 21 legal and policy violations, seven of them major, listing failures and violations that would certainly result with criminal charges in any other setting.

So, what has happened? According to CSC, one person was fired and three others were disciplined, whatever that means………CSC isn’t talking. And, as the ombudsman questioned, no senior management was held accountable after an internal investigation.

Yes, the RCMP reopened its investigation after the details of this incident came to public attention, but months later there is still no word on its findings.

Makes one proud, doesn’t it?

And, as we wrote back in October, Matthew Hines two sisters have hired a lawyer.

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