FBI Investigates Possible Civil Rights Violations In Inmate Death

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ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. (WGNO) – The death of a St. Bernard Parish inmate is under investigation by the FBI. The agency is looking into whether circumstances surrounding the teenagers’ death possibly violate federal civil rights laws.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter, spoke to the woman’s family about their repeated attempts to save the woman’s life.

“It’s just hard to have no answers and know you did everything you could it just hurts,” Deshawna Henry said.

Deshawna Henry is still struggling to cope with losing her sister; a death that she says could have been prevented.

It’s a claim the FBI is now looking into.

“They said my sister’s civil rights were violated, they said that.”

Nimali Henry was on medication for a rare blood disorder.

The family says they were not able to get the 19-year old the attention she so desperately needed, while she was in the parish jail; despite the family’s repeated attempts to notify authorities about her life-threatening condition.

“They ignored us. No one listened to us,” Nimali’s aunt Shea Abraham explained. “They just was like, “Oh we’re going to do something we’re going to help.” “No one did anything.”

During Nimali’s 10-day stay in Parish custody, she was found unresponsive on the floor of her jail cell and later died.

“Nimali is gone today, because St. Bernard jail refused to take care of Nimali. “They refused to send her to the hospital; they refused to get her medication,” Abraham said.

Henry was arrested during a domestic dispute; after attempting to see her 4-month old daughter.

An investigation into her death by the Parish has been put on hold during the FBI probe.

WGNO News has learned circumstances surrounding the death could possibly violate federal civil rights laws.

“We’re happy that the FBI is taking over because we fill like we’ll definitely get to the bottom of this,” Abraham said.

“And the FBI doesn’t get involved in just any case we all know that,” Henry said.

Henry also suffered from kidney, and congestive heart failure; as well as thyroid disease.

The family says they are now looking into any possible legal recourse.


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