Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Lake County Gulag: death of Gomes needs to be investigated fully

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The excuses and even lies about how Lyvita Gomes, a native of India who reportedly had mental illness issues, managed to die while in custody at the Lake County Jail.
It's hard to beleive Lake County officials are not responsible and they should be held accountable. This issue deserves an intense and detailed investigation into how Lake County officials acted and exactly what they did and did not do.
Her crime? Gomes failed to show up for a jury summons. Ironically, as a non-citizen, she shouldn't have been hassled by the system.
Hundreds of people turned out at funeral services Wednesday for Lyvita Gomes, a native of India who died after a hunger strike in Lake County Jail.
About 200 people attended Mass in Most Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Waukegan, where the Chicago Tribune reports Rev. Daniel Hartnett posed questions about Gomes' death while offering spiritual comfort to her family. Indian Catholic community leaders, immigration reform activists and others joined about 500 who attended a visitation Tuesday night.
About 120 people, including 20 local pastors, signed a "statement of concern" that will be presented to Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran and asks a set of questions about Gomes' treatment before and during her incarceration.
What is Curran's response? He needs to take this incident seriously and so should the U.S. Justice Department.
This is the story of the person who is wrongly arrested and then while being processed or hunted down, is pushed into a "crime" by the people trying to arrest her. The police harassed her because they were too ignorant or maybe even biased and bigoted to see past her ethnicity.
Gomes was a former Delta Air Lines trainer. She lived in Vernon Hills. She died on Jan. 3 at Waukegan Vista Medical Center East after going on a hunger-strike that lasted 15-days WHILE she was in Lake County custody.
Are you telling me there isn't one intelligent official  in Lake County who sees the injustice here? Are they all blind or uncaring or worse, irresponsible?
Curran can't defend his actions simply saying she was given care. She was the victim of a screwed up ugly system that considers people guilty until proven innocent. She was innocent. She did nothing wrong. And now there is a scramble to come up with excuses to cover up the failed leadership in Lake County which apparently is some kind of Gulag prison system where innocent people become the victims of political and racial bigotry.
As a non-citizen, Gomes wasn't eligible to serve on a jury. But she was arrested when she ignored the summons. That's when a Lake County deputy showed up at her door, as ordered by a judge, to get her to explain her absence. And she was arrested!!!! 
That's OUTRAGEOUS and the person who arrested her should be fired and even charged.
Gomes spent two days in the County Jail, where officials learned her visa had expired.
Why didn't Lake County drop the resisting arrest charge given the obvious simple facts of this case? That's the issue. That's the problem.
Yes, Gomes got caught up in a tricky situation. But the real crime is that it happened in Lake County, a place, apparently, where facts mean nothing and life means even less.
-- Ray Hanania

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