Group calls for reform at county jail
A vigil was held Saturday following a report by a state agency citing that the 2010 death of an inmate at the Onondaga County Justice Center was a homicide. As YNN's Erin Clarke tells us, the community is remembering Raul Pinet, Jr. and also demanding change.
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A recent report from the State Commission of Corrections found that 31-year-old Raul Pinet, Jr. died from asphyxia during restraint by sheriffs deputies.
Now, the community is demanding action.
"I would love for the nurse, the guards that were on duty to actually stand trial for this. A man died," said Claudette Pryce, Raul Pinet, Jr.'s girlfriend.
There's a possibility that could happen. The Onondaga County District Attorney is investigating the incident and told the Pinet family that he will present a case to the grand jury within two months.
Raul Pinet's death wasn't the first of this type behind the walls of the Justice Center. Community members say since things like this keep happening, the county should step up and exercise its oversight authority.
"It is time to have independent review of the policies, practices and procedures in this jail," said Barrie Gewanter, NYCLU CNY Chapter Director.
Incidents like the Pinet's death set a tone of distrust. One community members want to change for the safety of residents and law enforcement.
"We have to change the perception. We have to make sure that if we want our community to follow the law and evade the law, then the law itself has to follow the law," said Luz Encarnacion, President of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
YNN tried reaching the Onondaga County Sheriffs Department for comment. Our calls have not yet been returned.