Tampa Bay Times – Tampa Bay
|Date:||Oct 5, 2012|
“We do have an active criminal investigation into an inmate death that happened in early September of this year at Union Correctional Institution,” prison spokeswoman Ann Howard said. “There may be more investigations opened.”
The agency has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to spearhead an investigation into the death of Frank Smith, 44. He died of injuries Sept. 4 following a violent confrontation with corrections officers who were transporting him in a state prison vehicle from a hospital back to the prison.
I purchased this article earlier this week because I was only able to find a reference to it online, one that suggested that the article may also have contained information about Darren Rainey’s 2012 deliberate scalding death at Dade Correctional Institution (it didn’t).
It was perplexing to me that the article had been archived rather than left live, given that Steve Bosquet wrote about Frank Smith’s alleged investigation still being stalled in 2014 (along with Rainey’s and many others).
At 5′ 8″ and just 129 pounds, Frank Smith was barely above Flyweight the last time the Florida Department of Corrections recorded information on him. I doubt that he bulked up in the hospital.
I’m writing about him Smith because I’m afraid of forgetting about him, just as I’m afraid of forgetting about Myong Sun Ji and so many others, especially since article links too often go dead before the horrors they bespeak are in any way resolved.
Instead of enforcing existing laws that would make our jails and prisons safe right now via rapid and scrupulous investigations of suspicious inmate deaths – which is a function of the executive branch of government – Rick Scott chose subterfuge: he issued a sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing Executive Order about prison reform. Scott’s across-the-board paper pretenses at serving constituents only serve corporations, which doesn’t seem to bother most of our legislators … the social media pages I’ve checked seem to be reserved primarily for reelection efforts, except House Speaker Steve Crisafulli’s.
Crisafulli’s Twitter account (@SteveCrisafulli) is afire with Rick Scott’s specious scripts, including condemnation of Medicaid Expansion … which Florida’s legislature has had years to address, in full knowledge that there was an agreed upon deadline looming, with Floridians continually suffering and dying unnecessarily from lack of access to care. Crisafulli posted a Mother’s Day Tweet, perhaps believing that every Floridian has forgotten Charlene Dill’s death due to inaccessible healthcare, which left three young children motherless.
My memory is clinically damaged, but no matter how many links to articles go dead long before their time, I will remember enough to stand up and speak out, including this: With all-too-typical Brevard County lawlessness, Speaker Crisafulli personally crashed and burned the last legislative session early, laying waste to all the time-consuming hearings and debates that led up to the bills that were left on the table. The ongoing, bloody guard-on-inmate violence in Florida prisons are now as much on Crisafulli’s hands as they are Scott’s, as are additional deaths like Charlene Dill’s.
Sharing this post might help to save the lives of inmates like Harold Hempstead, who put their lives on the line to secure justice for murdered inmates, to protect other inmates from the same fate. So please, share this post. Thank you.