April Baskin has repeatedly called on Attorney General Barbara Underwood to investigate the death of India Cummings at the Erie County Holding Center and the Attorney General has said that she would investigate but has repeatedly pushed back the date. This is on track to be Richard Metcalf all over again !
Metcalf was another Holding Center inmate who died in 2012.All total there have been 24 inmate deaths under Sheriff Howard’s tenure. Legislator Baskin held a press conference last Friday to demand an immediate investigation.
Her message: We will not accept this repeated violation of human rights and disregard for life any longer! Majority Leader Baskin is proposing a law to establish a permanent Corrections Specialist Advisory Board. At one time the Sheriff’s Department had such a board to protect inmates from neglect and mistreatment, but it died a natural death after a Republican supported majority took control of the Legislature four years ago.
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn Jr. has said he thinks the Attorney General’s office or a special prosecutor should investigate Cummings death. A conflict of interest, he said, prevents his office from conducting an investigation.