Protesters demand justice for Hardel Sherrell

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MEnd Correctional Care was providing medical services for Beltrami jail in 2018 when 27-year-old Hardel Sherrell died in custody. Protesters say the state should shut the organization down.

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Georgia Fort reports:

Protesters gathered at The Minnesota Board of Medical Examiners Friday afternoon to demand the State shutdown MEnD Correctional Care.

MEnd Correctional Care was providing services for Beltrami jail in 2018 when 27-year-old Hardel Sherrell died in custody. Video footage showed guards neglected to take his pain seriously for over a week, even when his condition deteriorated to paralysis. A private autopsy ordered by his mother revealed he was suffering from a rare but treatable disease. A witness nurse stated that, even after his death, medical providers for the North Central Minnesota jail claimed he had been faking his illness.

“No doctor who has taken the oath to save lives would allow what happened to my son to happen,” said Del Shea Perry, Hardell’s mother. Perry said 55 investigations are being conducted into inmate deaths that have raised skepticism.

Nurses from the Minnesota Nurses Association came forward in solidarity with Perry, saying under no circumstance should an inmate have been left neglected the way Hardel was.

“The doctor failed to do his job, why should that doctor be out here still getting paid?” demanded Toshira Garroway, founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence. She said that this case reveals inequities in the medical and incarceration systems.

“We are here to say the inhumanity and the lack of regard for human life has to stop,” said Garroway.

At the beginning of October 2021 the Minnesota Legislature passed the Hardel Sherrell Act to create more protections for inmates who request medical attention.

MEnD Correctional Care denies any wrongdoing. A representative for the organization said in an email that MEnD provided “daily, attentive care” for Sherrell. A civil rights lawsuit is still pending in court.

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