Received today. -jsq
After the alleged suicide of inmate Terrell Rizer 19; while in the Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail; after being arrested and charged in the April 11, murder of Timothy McKinney; Georgia Governor Nathan Deal should issue an executive order as was done with the Quitman 10 alleged voter fraud case in Brooks County concerning this alleged suicide.
Moreover, this investigation should be conducted by an outer state agency and the other alleged suicides that has occurred in the Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail. Governor Deal should also investigate why Lowndes County is leading State of Georgia in jail deaths for whatever reasons and this investigation should be done by an outside agency!
We can only ask why South Georgia News Media failed to include
that since 1994-2009 that the Valdosta-Lowndes County jail has 30 plus jail deaths. Even Judge Hugh Lawson found 103 violations in his 1997 Civil Action #89-54 of the Middle District of Georgia now expired. However, it has become apparent that no one ever complied with this order; although Lowndes County Board of Commissioners was given two years to comply. But the general public was never notified who if anybody complied with Judge Lawson Order and not even the judge made public comment to the order being complied with .
Moreover, the historic archival records shows that there had only been three deaths in the jail at the time of the ruling; inmate Willard Mc Farland, Willie Lee Gaye and James N. Starling.
So had Judge Lawson ruling been complied with would be have had 30 plus known deaths along with the other alleged suicides and questionable deaths of inmates? We must also ask why no South Georgia News Media is reporting about this loss of human life? We must be thankful to Valdosta City Councilman Robert Yost for showing some concern for people in our community that are housed in the Valdosta-Lowndes County Jail that are innocent until proven guilty.
*Short list of questionable deaths relating to suicide:*
- Richard William Oakley (White) age 27 died *April 2002;* cause of death listed as Suicide/hanging.
- Amaruy Quinones, (Hispanic), age 34, died September 2, 2005; cause of death listed as “Self induced Starvation.
- C.J. Name withheld at request of family (years earlier). (Black Female) cause of death listed as suicide.
- Joel Smith, Age 20, *March 2008* (Tuesday) cause of death listed as suicide/found hanging.
- Michael Wayne Dixon, Age 39, died (arrested on *May 13, 2008), *cau se of death listed as suicide by hanging.
- Nathaniel Sloan Age 42 died *September 26th, 2009;* died in isolation and found at 1:48 AM not breathing properly.
- Terrell Rizer age 19,* April 2012, *(Black Male) cause of death listed as suicide/hanging from his own jail cell.)
- It has been alleged that on March 8, 2010 a Taser of an inmate death occurred in medical but this alleged death has not been reported to the general public while community awaits a reply from the sheriffs department.
Had an individual been arrested for a crime the South Georgia News Media would have gone back into his or her historic past and reported every thing they could find publish it to the general public. So why the other deaths and alleged suicides were kept away from the eyes and ears of the general public following the alleged suicide of Terrell Rizer?
Again, I commend Councilman Robert Yost for being concerned about the welfare of people that housed in our local jail and express at the last council meeting that inmates are innocent until proven guilty and deserves to be protected while in the hands of law enforcement.
We must also ask why information about JQUAD Analysis Impediment (AI) findings were not published to the general public during citizens to be heard during council meeting. In that our elected officials should have had time to read study and share the content with local citizens before voting to move forward with such an important undertaking? After 16 years a local citizens felt that to wait for two weeks were not too long to give our elected time to review the AI findings; but once again citizens were disrespected when it comes to our right to know.
Yes, Terrell Rizer allegedly committed a crime; but should not he have been given protection even from himself while confined in jail awaiting his day in court? So is this being discussed among our news media outlets and published as a fair and balanced point of discussion in our community?
Finally, yes state authorities will look into the death and the procedures at the jail. Yes, the GBI will probe the death. Yes, the FBI was notified of the death; yes, he was placed in an isolated cell. Yes, he may have admitted to the murder and directed law enforcement where the murder weapon was kept and retrieved. Yes, Sheriff Chris Prine showed the initial intake report to the Valdosta Daily Times as reported in the article. Yes an on going investigation is pending seeking answers in this untimely death. But why did not our news media ask if this human being was given adequate protection and why did they fail to publish the information about the other deaths in our beloved community?
So why do Georgians continue to vote the same people back into office only to ignore us; our children and coming generations. There is little need of our sons and daughters serving on foreign battlefields to protect the rights and freedoms of foreigners only to be IGNORED by Georgia Elected officials we vote into office. God Bless America and let us better direct our vote!
GEORGE BOSTON RHYNES
Retired United States Armed Forces Military Veteran A concerned citizen and brother of all humanity
Local News Media Coverage; Valdosta Daily Times… Inmate death: Authorities review jail protocol, by Dawn Castro, 19 April 2012.