The following letter was sent to Harford County Executive David Craig, County Councilman Dion Guthrie, Sheriff Jesse Bane, Dels. Dan Riley, Susan McComas and Mary-Dulany James, and members of the Edgewood Community Council. A copy was provided to The Dagger.
How, I ask you, does a homeless man, convicted of no crime, and charged only with misdemeanor trespassing, end up dead after being detained by officers in the Harford County Detention Center? Unfortunately the victim, Dwight Jerome Madison, can’t speak for himself. What is worse is that the only witnesses to his death are the police officers that were tasering and detaining Mr. Madison at the time of his death last Thursday. Hardly unbiased witnesses! For these reasons I have contacted the FBI and the U.S. OAG and asked them to investigate Mr. Madison’s death. I have also asked the ECC to hold an emergency forum so that we all can find out what happened.
It could just as easily have been you or I swept up by the HCSO. How often have you walked your neighborhood? How often have you gone out on a nice day to enjoy the sunshine? How often have you and your sons or daughters simply gone for a stroll to the high school, park or 7-Eleven?
On any given day, you, I or our kids could be stopped and detained. In fact, I have been stopped by the very same police that detained our hapless victim. In February of this year, 2009, the Sheriff’s office stopped me while I was on my morning walk, allegedly because I had a camera while I was out walking. I have no doubt whatsoever that I would have been detained if it weren’t for the fact that I know Councilman Dion Guthrie. I had the authorities call Dion, who then vouched for who I was and that I am a member of the Edgewood community!
Just as quickly and as easily as Mr. Madison disappeared, I could’ve ended up in the Detention Center. Who would have stood up for me if I suddenly turned up dead? Who will stand up for you?
We must stand up for ourselves and demand answers from the only people in the position to cause Dwight’s death. Otherwise, next time…it will be you or me or our sons and we will have no one to blame but ourselves. If we don’t stand up and let the powers that be know that the weak as well as the strong deserve respect and deserve to be treated with dignity, we cannot later complain when our own lives are forfeit.
Come together. Join me in demanding explanations from our elected representatives concerning Dwight’s death at the Detention Center.
Right Now is the time for those that believe Dwight deserved better… that he was somebody…that he deserved to live…to stand up and demand an accounting for this man’s life. You deserve the truth…your sons and daughters deserve the truth…but most of all Dwight Jerome Madison deserves justice.
Omar J. Simpson, Esq.
See related story here: http://www.daggerpress.com/2009/06/14/prisoner-dies-at-detention-center-after-being-tasered/