National Black Caucus Statement in Support of Hardel Sherrell Family
On September 2, 2018, Hardel Sherell, a father of three, died in the Beltrami County, MN, jail due to neglect & abuse. The National Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States stands united with the family of Hardel Sherrell as they seek justice. Newly released video and phone records contradict authorities' version of the events leading up to Mr. Sherrell's death. Footage released to Unicorn Riot and other news agencies shows Hardel falling out his bed and being left to lie on the floor for up to 8 hours until he died.
The National Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release:
November 19th 2019
Del Shea Perry, Sherrel's mother, said, "Family notification policies need to be changed statewide. Inmates' families need to be contacted immediately when they can't advocate for themselves. If they are in medical segregation, wellbeing checks should be done by medical staff every 15 minutes. If this had been done for my son, he would still be here today."
According to Fox 9 News, "Hardel is the third person to die in Beltrami County Jail in the last 3 years."
Monique Cullars Doty, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Minnesota, said, "Minnesota social justice activists who are fighting for changes in the criminal justice system want to see immediate changes inside the jails and prisons in the state of Minnesota. Such changes include requiring all correction officers to wear body cameras at all times and to be trained to spot emergency medical situations. New standards for health care providers who give services in Minnesota jails or prisons, address and implement specific healthcare needs for women. Ensure facilities are properly staffed and close the ones that are not adequate, including Beltrami County Jail. These are just a few of the changes we must see nationwide because it is a national problem.
The jail has failed multiple inspections by the Minnesota Department of Corrections in the last few years. In 2017, they violated state rules and were cited for multiple violations surrounding the suicide of Stephanie Bunker. These included not having clean anti-suicide smocks, lack of communication between medical staff and custody staff, plus late checks on inmates. They were cited again in May, 2019, for having urinals in female bathrooms, lack of inmate supplies, lack of officer supplies and other budgetary supplies.
Many organizations are standing in solidarity with Del Shea Perry and the other families who have lost a loved one in Beltrami County Jail, including Black Lives Matter Minnesota, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Our Revolution Bemidji and Native Lives Matter. James Lane of the National Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States, said, "Mr Sherell's civil rights were violated. We support medicare for all, and that includes inmates, too."
Harrowing Footage Shows Man's Last Days Before Dying in Jail
Georgiades, Niko and Georgia Fort. Unicorn Riot, Nov. 8, 2019
Mother sues Beltrami County Jail in death of her son
Shearer, Jordan. The Bemidji Pioneer; Nov. 15, 2019
Beltrami County Jail Aims To Improve After Failing Inspection
Lakeland PBS, Jul. 24, 2019
Inmate collapses, dies of unknown medical condition at Beltrami County Jail
Fox 9 News | KMSP-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul, Sept. 6, 2018