Federal Defenders of New York Statement on the Death of Jamel Floyd
The report of Jamel Floyd’s death at the federal Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn is extremely disturbing. According to the BOP, he died after being pepper sprayed in his cell by a Corrections Officer. The most important thing right now is to get the facts. That means a full, independent and transparent investigation. It means preserving all of the videotape. It means determining what level of force was used and whether it was excessive. It means testing Mr. Floyd for COVID-19 to determine if he was ill and whether that contributed to his death.
The MDC is a brutal place to be imprisoned at any time, but it’s truly horrific right now. People incarcerated there are completely locked down, shut off from their families and loved ones, and living in fear of a deadly disease. We don’t know what happened yesterday, but we need to find out.