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May 4, 2020

Rep. Pressley Calls for Full Investigation Into Violent Incident at Bristol County Jail

WASHINGTON – Today, following the violent incident that took place at the Bristol County Jail over the weekend, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) released the following statement:

“Every human being, regardless of their immigration status or involvement with the legal system, has the right to dignity and safety. Reports of the violent incident at Bristol County Jail over the weekend are deeply disturbing, and underscore the urgent need for decarceration, including the release of nonviolent ICE detainees, during this public health crisis. What occurred at Bristol this weekend makes clear the disregard officials at the jail have for the basic humanity of the individuals in their custody. We need an independent investigation into this incident, including the public release of all security camera footage, to understand exactly what happened and hold those responsible accountable.

“As we’ve feared since the onset of this crisis, our prisons and jails are proving to be major incubators of this virus here in Massachusetts and across the country. Already in our Commonwealth, more than 120 incarcerated individuals and 50 corrections officials have tested positive for COVID-19.  Every day that we fail to take action, we risk even more lives. We must undertake meaningful decarceration now, and we can start by releasing people held in immigrant detention who pose no risk to public safety.”

In late March, Congresswoman Pressley called on the Trump Administration take “swift and immediate action” to protect people in immigration detention centers and immigrant communities from the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, following a ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Rep. Pressley urged officials in the commonwealth to prioritize decarceration.


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