An investigation into the Feb. 2 bleeding death of an inmate at California’s Corcoran State Prison has been hindered by correctional officers who have refused to give details about the incident, authorities said.
Guards who initially seemed willing to cooperate in the probe have decided to keep quiet after meeting with union representatives and union attorneys, authorities said. Nearly every officer working in the section where inmate Ronald Herrera bled to death in his cell last month has refused to talk to the Kings County district attorney’s office, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Herrera, a 58-year-old dialysis patient, died from an opening in his medical shunt after he screamed and kicked for hours in his cell without any intervention from the staff, according to corrections officials. Many of the 40 or so guards keeping silent are not suspects but witnesses, said the chief prosecutor leading the probe.
He said the silence had effectively blocked the monthlong investigation into possible criminal neglect. Union leaders did not respond to four requests for interviews over a weeklong period.