A Philly family is suing the city after what was supposed to be their relative’s brief jail bid for shoplifting ended up being a horrific death sentence.
Armani Faison, 35, had been in Philly’s Currran-Fromhold Correctional Facility for three days last March when he was given a new cell mate, Kevin Massey. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Massey was known to have tried to rape a previous cellmate. That didn’t stop jail officials from locking him in with Faison, who was only being held for a minor, nonviolent offense.
Then, the worst happened.
From the Philadelphia Inquirer
Within hours, the suit said, Massey attacked Faison for hours as his cries for help and those of inmates housed nearby went unanswered.
Authorities have said that Massey at some point activated the cell’s sprinkler system, which flooded the cell. Still, the suit said, no one came to Faison’s aid.
“Armani’s body was found the following morning naked, bloodied, and floating in six inches of water,” according to the suit.
Faison’s injuries included abrasions and contusions to his nose, clavicle, shoulder, back, arms, legs and neck, and extensive rectal hemorrhaging, the suit says. He was pronounced dead at Nazareth Hospital shortly after a correctional officer discovered his body.
Now, Faison’s family wants the city and several guards they believe could have prevented his death, held accountable. They allege that at least one guard left his post after a colleague asked for help in the jail’s kitchen, and they also named a third guard who they say was responsible for putting Massey and Faison in the same cell, according to the Inquirer.
The story highlights a number of instances of unsafe conditions and violence in jails around the country. New York Rikers Island jail is a shitshow, leading to a battle between the city’s new mayor and city council over how to keep it safe.
Last year, Philly officials released a report showing dangerous conditions and understaffing at the same jail where Faison was killed.