In today's news Ben Keller wrote this article for PINAC News:
The parents of an insulin-dependent 20-year-old diabetic woman who died in an Texas jail cell after a licensed nurse ignored her pleas and refused to help released a surveillance video of her death Thursday in hopes it will bring about changes in the “prison for profit” industry.
“We want to see things change in jails everywhere. Morgan had a family that loved her,” Jennifer Houser, the mother of Moran Angerbaur said.
“This has to change. Nobody deserves to die like that.”
Morgan Angerbauer, 20, was booked into Bi-State Justice Building in Texarkana in the afternoon of June 28 for violation of her probation for possession of drugs – the same jail we reported on last month where guards killed a man on camera who told them multiple times, “I can’t breathe.”
She was found dead in her cell three days later on July 1 after a jailhouse nurse refused to administer a blood sugar test – despite the fact Angerbauer banged on her cell door over several hours asking to get her blood tested.
Brittany Johnson, the licensed vocational nurse who refused her requests for blood tests, has since been charged with negligent homicide, a misdemeanor.
This story of Moran Angerbaur is disturbing especially since this woman's death occurred in the same facility Bi-State jail in Texarkana less than a year after inmate Michael Sabbie’s death at the same jail after he was pepper sprayed. His pleas of not being able to breath went unnoted and ignored he too died.
The deep contradiction is the deep truth of perception. The life of a person jailed is reduced to a slave. It is part of the U.S. Constitution. So, deeply embedded in our thinking, and in particular correction officers and policemen that it is acceptable to ignore the pleas of prisoners because they con and whine so much in custody. When arrested many cry for their mothers like babies. If an officer does not establish rules and follow guidelines prisoners will take advantage of the officer and the system.
It is a helluva a call, judgement calls, because the judgement is that prisoners have no life to respect. They are criminals. In jail prisoners and officers are locked up each affecting the other in deep and personal ways. The beast within is fed and nurtured in this environment. The real struggle is maintaining humanity and that cannot be easy.
This is as hard as I get pondering this reality. We live our contradictions on this subject. On the one hand we want to throw the crook away, We want to rehabilitate them, but unable to forgive them we take their vote away after serving their time because slavery is a desirable way to dismiss the value of life in people we fear and are disgusted by. On the other hand we like to pretend that inequities can become beneficial to society. - Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories 11.6.16