After fourth months of vague and deflective answers from state correction officials, the New York Times has published a shocking report on the death of Samuel "J-Rock" Harrell, a diagnosed-bipolar inmate at medium-security Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, New York. Harrell died in April after being beaten by about 20 correction officers.

The paper recounts the events of the night of April 21st in detail, pieced together from numerous inmate accounts: Harrell attempted to walk out of the prison around 8:00 p.m., even though he still had several years to serve on his drug sentence. This prompted a violent "confrontation" with correction officers, who "threw" him to the floor, and handcuffed him. From the NYTimes:

As many as 20 officers — including members of a group known around the prison as the Beat Up Squad — repeatedly kicked and punched Mr. Harrell, who is black, with some of them shouting racial slurs, according to more than a dozen inmate witnesses. “Like he was a trampoline, they were jumping on him,” said Edwin Pearson, an inmate who watched from a nearby bathroom.

None of the witness accounts mention Harrell, who was over six feet tall and 235 pounds, resisting the attack or even speaking to the officers while they pinned him to the floor and handcuffed him.

Harrell ended up unconscious at the bottom of a stairwell, and officers called for an ambulance around 9:15 p.m. However, medical records show that these officers attributed Harrell's condition to a K2 overdose. Harrell was pronounced dead upon arrival at St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital at 10:19.

The NYTimes acquired Harrell's autopsy report from the Orange County Medical examiner, which shows that Harrell had no K2 in his system. He did, however, have multiple cuts and bruises on his head and extremities. According to the report, Harrell died of cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, "following physical altercation with corrections officers.”

The report also classifies Harrell's death as a homicide, but as of yet, no Fishkill officers have been disciplined in connection with the beating. State Police reportedly plan to turn over evidence related to Harrell's death to the Dutchess County DA's office in the "very near future," and a spokesman told the paper that "anyone found to have engaged in any misconduct or in any legal violations will be disciplined and prosecuted."

According to numerous inmates at Fishkill interviewed by the NYTimes, Harrell's beating at the hands of correction officers is not uncommon. One inmate describes being beaten so severely in July that he lost his two front teeth, and had to be hospitalized. Another described a "a group of rogue officers" who "go around beating up people." Luna Droubi, a lawyer for Herrell's family, said that at least 9 inmates who witnessed Herrell's beating have since spent time in solitary.