Three and a half years after the death of Darren Rainey in June 2012, an African-American inmate serving a two year cocaine charge in Dade County, the state has finally released its highly anticipated autopsy report. Rainey’s death was ruled as “accidental,” but the state has been accused of a large-scale cover up, as witness testimony indicates that Rainy was boiled alive in a special shower unit made for torture. The shower was designed with temperature controls on the outside.
The medical examiner’s office told the Miami-Herald that no burns were found on Rainy’s body, in direct conflict with another inmate who claims to have cleaned burned flesh out of the shower he was forced to clean after the incident. The state alleges that the cause of death is complications with schizophrenia and heart disease.
Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said, “To accept the medical examiner’s conclusion you have to believe that he accidentally locked himself in a shower, then turned up the water temperature to 180 degrees, accidentally boiled himself to death and all the while he was screaming for help,” he told the Guardian.
“That doesn’t sound to me much like an accident.”
After Rainey’s death, family members pursued an investigation into abuse by Dade County officers. The warden, Jerry Cummins was fired in 2014 and two officers connected with the event resigned.
One inmate, Harold Hempstead, a convicted burglar who was acting as an inmate orderly when Rainey died, claimed officers at DCI routinely taunted and terrorised mentally ill prisoners and had doctored the shower to be used as a punishment.