Families Protests Police Violence and In-Custody Deaths
By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, September 19, 2022 10:20 am
RENO- On Saturday, protesters assembled in front of the Bruce R. Thompson Federal Building in downtown Reno to demand that Aaron Ford, the attorney general of Nevada, take action against the various local law enforcement agencies for the excessive number of officer and prisoner fatalities.
Activist Annemarie Grant led the gathering, claiming that her brother Thomas Purdy passed away while being held at the Washoe County jail as a result of being “hog tied,” denied medical care, and subjected to torture.
She stated in a 2020 interview that after being detained at the Washoe County jail for allegedly trespassing five years prior and trying to fight off shackles with his wrists tied behind his back and strapped to his ankles, Purdy kept screaming deputies he couldn’t breathe. He told the jail intake nurse, “I can’t breathe, ma’am,” and urged her to send him to the hospital.
A later investigation by the Sparks Police Department revealed that no officers at the prison facility had committed any crimes.
According to Grant, a medical examiner determined that Purdy’s death was a homicide caused by “complications of agitated delirium,” and when reached, the sheriff’s office declined to comment on whether any of the participating deputies had received disciplinary action.
Grant revealed to the group that one nurse had not only refused to treat her brother medically but had also made fun of him to another nurse. When REMSA finally arrived, they revived Purdy and restarted his heart, but after 10 minutes without oxygen, they pronounced him brain dead.
Grant informed the crowd that Purdy was “one of three males who were asphyxiated at the Parr Boulevard facility during a one-year period.” Justin Thompson and Nico Smith are two other casualties.
Deputy Pual Hubble was implicated in the deaths of Thompson and Purdy, respectively. Grant claims that body cam footage shows Hubble “smashing a community member’s face in the butt of his AR weapon who was on the ground being detained, breaking his cheek and now suffering from hearing loss,” breaking his cheek and inflicting hearing loss.
About 40 protesters showed there, many of whom shared similar experiences. Many of them focused on the lack of accountability displayed by all police agencies as well as the unfair “investigations” conducted by police agencies against one another, also known as the Independent Investigation Protocol.
According to Grant, the number of police-caused deaths in jails in Washoe County in 2015 was six times greater than the national average.
Grant is requesting that Ford conduct an impartial inquiry into the numerous deaths caused by law enforcement in Washoe County as well as provide drug tests to the police. Officers who are involved in citizen deaths are not now required to do this. As the independent inquiry protocol is the only response, she claimed that this enables cops to “kill without consequence.”
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