DARREN RAINEY FAQ’S
Accuracy and transparency have long been the hallmark of our office. We will continue to openly communicate with our community on important issues. In response to our establishing a hotline and based on questions and comments to our office regarding the investigation of the In-Custody Death of Darren Rainey, we have created the following list of frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Q: The State Attorney did not bring criminal charges against anyone in the death of Mr. Rainey. What was the State Attorney’s role in reviewing the case?
A: The role of the State Attorney in this investigation and in conducting this review is limited to determining whether a criminal violation of Florida law has occurred, whether any person may be held criminally responsible, and whether such criminal responsibility can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The State Attorney does not establish agency policy, procedures or training requirements, nor does the State Attorney have any responsibility for determining disciplinary action or pursuing civil litigation in these matters. In other words, given the applicable law, the State Attorney’s role is to determine whether the actions of the corrections officers constitute a criminal act that can be proven beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt.
The U. S. Department of Justice was provided all of the information gathered in the investigation. Their role is to determine whether any action for civil rights violations can be brought.
Additionally, there are civil remedies available to the families and other interested parties. There are administrative remedies available through other agencies.
Q: Was Darren Rainey thrown into a prison shower at the Dade Correctional Institution?
A: Darren Rainey suffered from mental illness. He defecated in his cell and smeared feces all over himself and his cell. He willingly walked out of his cell and was escorted by correctional officers to the shower to wash the feces off his body. Rainey walked out of the cell on his own, which was captured on video. (Available on our website, maimisao.com.)
Q: Was the water turned up to 180 degrees and was Mr. Rainey scalded or burned over 90% of his body?
A: According to the Medical Examiner, Mr. Rainey had no burns of any kind on his body. Further, if the water had been 180 degrees and Mr. Rainey was under that water, there would have been second degree or first degree blisters or burns on his body, especially on his feet. There were no blisters or burns anywhere on his body.
Q: Was Mr. Rainey left alone in the shower for two full hours?
A: While Mr. Rainey was in the shower room for approximately one and a half hours, he was periodically checked on by corrections officers.
Q: How large is the shower room and how far does the water stream reach within the room?
A: There are photographs contained in the report and also as attachments to the report. They are readily available on our website. The general dimensions of the shower room are as follows; it is 9 feet tall, approximately 3 feet wide and approximately 9 ½ feet long. Because of where the water stream enters the shower, as seen in the photos, Mr. Rainey was able to stand away from the stream of water and remain dry for the majority of the time he was in the shower.
Q: Is it true that when Mr. Rainey’s body was removed from the shower, nurses and other personnel said that there were burns on his body?
A: Yes, and that is what it appeared to be based on visible reddish areas on his chest and extremities. In fact, according to the Medical Examiner, this was a result of skin slippage (skin coming off) and not caused by burns.
Q: How could he not be burned, but have his skin “coming off”?
A: This is a result of several factors. The first factor is that Mr. Rainey’s body blocked the drain after he died causing the incoming water to pool within the shower. Second, the humidity within the shower room accelerated Mr. Rainey’s body to decompose and loosen his skin. As a result of the onset of decomposition and loose skin, life-support efforts (such as CPR) caused the loose skin to be dislodged at the points of contact.
Q: Is it true that Mr. Rainey’s body temperature was too high to register with a thermometer?
A: No. A nurse testified that she had difficulty trying to take his temperature from his temple as they continued to administer life saving measures to Mr. Rainey in the medical center. Mr. Rainey’s temperature was in fact taken and was 102° F at that time.
Q: Was the shower where Mr. Rainey died used by correctional officers to punish inmates and routinely used to scald inmates?
A: The scope of our investigation was limited to the events surrounding Mr. Rainey’s death. It is true that some inmates interviewed stated that the shower was used as a “punishment” to varying levels. However, all nurses interviewed advised they had never treated an inmate for burns nor ever received complaints of injuries from the shower. We found no records to substantiate the claimed injuries.
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