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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Santa Clara Jail Guards Charged with Murder for Beating Inmate to Death

Posted By on Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 10:59 AM

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Three Santa Clara correctional officers have been arrested and charged with homicide, conspiracy, and assault under the color of authority for the August 27th death of an inmate, KGO News reports

According to the San Jose Mercury News, the officers were arrested Thursday morning and are being held without bail.

Michael Jame Tyree, a 31-year old man, was found dead on August 27 in his cell.

Per the Mercury News:
At the time of his death, Tyree was being housed on the sixth floor, in the protective custody unit. Several inmates who were also housed there reported seeing the three correctional officers go into his cell and then hearing him scream, "don't," "please, stop," "help," and "I'm sorry," before falling silent after the officers left, according to a relative of one of the inmates.

Tyree apparently suffered serious internal injuries consistent with being hit with a firm object, which could have been a fist, foot or weapon, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. The source added that the officers did not report their use of force to jail authorities immediately, as required, or seek medical care for him.

Only after Tyree's body was discovered during a routine cell check at least an hour later in the early-morning hours of Aug. 27 did they say the confrontation occurred because he refused to take his medication. Officers can help compel an inmate to take his medication, but such interventions are expected to proceed in stages, and under medical supervision.

Tyree is described in court records as a white man standing 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds. Given that prior to his death he had been given credit for time served after his recent theft conviction, it was unclear why he was still in jail.
According to KGO News, Tyree was a "transient" who was waiting for a bed to become available in a residential mental health facility. 

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About The Author

Julia Carrie Wong

Julia Carrie Wong's work has appeared in numerous local and national titles including 48hills, Salon, In These Times, The Nation, and The New Yorker.

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