By Erick Erickson / The Resurgent
This is now Donald Trump’s America and instead of trying to understand why so many Americans rejected the status quo, the left has decided the nation is just full of racists, bigots, and idiots. Consequently, on a daily basis they are trying to find new grievances to keep alive the anger and rage on the left. They hope to mobilize the left and head into 2018, taking back Congress, and doing everything possible to stop President Trump.
To do that, they have decided to inflame racial tensions as best the can. At SXSW in Austin, a Michael Moore affiliated film maker released a new video on Michael Brown that purports to show he was a drug dealer, not a thief, in order to raise doubts about the investigative findings.
Now, in Florida, the left wants you to believe prison officials boiled alive a black inmate in the Dade Correctional Institute in Miami. The evidence shows it did not happen, but they are cherry picking the worst of the worst information to claim it is so.
Here’s a typically hysterical claim about the Florida situation:
US prison guards who ‘boiled’ Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic Black man, to death won’t be charged pic.twitter.com/p7gEZGFfSx
— Maggie Jordan: (@MaggieJordanACN) March 19, 2017
Note the “US”, which implies this was a federal situation putting it within Donald Trump’s purview. It was actually a state prison in Florida.
The hysteria is based on this Think Progress report which begins thusly:
In June of 2012, 50-year old Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic man serving time for cocaine possession, died in the Dade Correctional Institution. According to prison witnesses and civil rights groups, Rainey died after guards locked him in a shower for two hours with water at 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Nurses who examined Rainey said that he had burns over 90 percent of his body — and that his skin fell off at the touch.
Note the plural “nurses.” In fact, there were four nurses interviewed and only one said she thought Rainey had been burned. The other three saw no signs of burns. The two nurses who were at the scene of the death in the shower saw no signs of burning.
All of the nurses saw skin slippage, which, as the medical examiner noted, would be normal in a situation of a death in a warm, moist environment.
The facts are pretty straight forward. On June 23, 2012, Darren Rainey, a schizophrenic black man imprisoned in the Dade Correctional Institute for cocaine possession, spread his own feces across his face and cell. He had done it before and then tried to eat it. This time, guards found him before he tried to eat it.
A prison guard took Darren Rainey to a shower where the controls to the shower were in an adjacent room so Rainey could not turn the shower off. The shower head was an open pipe in the middle of the side wall of the rectangular shower so that a single stream poured across the middle of the shower. The picture above is of the shower.
Rainey stood at one end of the shower and refused to enter it. The prison guards could not let him out of the shower until he bathed because human feces is, obviously, considered a biohazard. When he finally agreed to enter the stream, he demanded soap. The prison guard went to fetch soap, returned with the soap, then left Rainey to bathe. When the guard returned, Rainey was face up on the floor covering the drain with 3″ of accumulated water. He had died of cardiac arrest. He had been in the shower for approximately two hours.
An inmate claimed that Rainey had been screaming because the shower was hot. That inmate claims he tried to get people’s attention and help. But video surveillance footage of that prisoner during the incident directly contradicts his claims.
So does the plumbing. Yes, someone used a kitchen meat thermometer to measure the temperature of the water and it measured 160° on the meat thermometer. But the water temperature had already been tested with a digital thermometer that found the hot water temperature had been no higher than 125°. The combined flow of cold and hot water registered no more than 101°. Likewise, all the inmates alleged to have been burned in the shower, including inmates already released from prison and under no fear of reprisal, denied the allegations.
More importantly, the hot water was controlled by two boilers. One was inoperable and the other was set to 120° at the time of Darren Rainey’s death, making it virtually impossible that he could have bee boiled alive.
Most importantly, the medical examiners found no signs of scalding or burns on Darren Rainey’s body. That’s right. Despite all the claims that his body had been burned, the nurses on the scene found no burns and the medical exam found no burns anywhere on his body, including his feet, which would have burned first.
Despite the investigative findings, the left wants to believe a meat thermometer that may or may not have been calibrated properly and an inmate whose claims are directly refuted by surveillance footage. They also want you to ignore the independent medical examiner’s report.
You can read the 101 pages of the investigation file here. I have.
The medical examiner found that schizophrenics have a harder time regulating their body temperature. Rainey also had undiagnosed atherosclerotic heart disease. The two coupled with Rainey being in a warm, steamy environment for two hours caused his death, which the medical examiner listed as an accident.
The facts, however, are being twisted just so by the left to inflame racial tensions in the country. The left needs black voters to turn out in 2018. Providing continual grievances and claims of police brutality where there are none is what they hope will do it.
There is a side issue here worth noting as well. The left is adamantly opposed to private contractors running prisons. They are attempting to seize on every bit of evidence and contradictory statements to discredit private contractors. This is another example of that. In this case they get a twofer — a black man and private contractors. So they’ll play it up.