Defender General: racial bias contributed to death of black inmate - WCAX

When Black inmate Kenneth Jackson told Newport prison guards, “I can’t breathe,” he really meant it. He died shortly thereafter.

"“I’m very concerned that there is a culture of dismissiveness when it comes to complaints of inmates relative to medical care,” said Vt. Defender General Matt Valerio. He says in his nearly 20 years on the job, this is a repeat concern. He say corrections officials failed to address the medical needs of Kenneth Johnson, who was being held at the prison in Newport. Johnson has been behind bars since he was accused of trafficking a teenage girl back in 2017. He died on December 7 from a tumor that had blocked his airway. Valerio says, their investigation found Johnson had complained earlier in the fall of having trouble breathing, among other symptoms.”



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