Death at E.M.D.C. (Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre)

I heard a man being beaten badly once. It started out as jail shoes squeaking frantically on the cement. There were many feet involved. If there was someone you wanted to get sent to another area; to not live with them, the easiest way was via hospital.

Guys would talk and an initial option was to attack the problem as a group. A sheet would be pulled over the man about to exit. Five or six guys can lay a fair beating on a person. At times it was the strongest who found themselves beneath the sheet and in this case in the hospital.

I could hear blows landing and from the remaining silence a pleading. In this instance the sheet was pulled tighter and the thick hard plastic cups were unleashed. Why we were given these cups but not a toilet seat that could be used as a weapon only illuminates the importance of degradation over actual safety and security. Doctors and nurses were the logical solution in some minds but staples and stitches are often preventable.

The pleading turned to screams as the cups tore into his face and scalp. The end was near. The guards on the other side of the steel door heard what was going on. They entered the area and unlocked the doors of the sally port. I heard even more feet.

The point of sharing my story is that the guards sat on the other side of a closed door. Had it been open at least one of them would have a clear view of a significant portion of the area. Even if they missed the first few seconds they would have heard the commotion, the pleading, the first scream? We listened for at least a minute.

If as citizens we sit behind the same door of indifference nothing will change. The issues at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre need to be better addressed and further uncovered. To not see a blood splattered cell, a trail of it across the floor and a body in the shower for hours points to more than missing cameras.

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