PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily News - October 23, 2020 


President Trump and Joe Biden square off in their final debate; warnings that "dark days" of the pandemic are yet to come; and food assistance now available for some wildfire victims.


2020Talks - October 23, 2020 


The second and last presidential debate was much more controlled than the first; President Trump keeping to his main themes, calmly rebutted by Biden.

Record Settlement for Death of Man in NYS Prison

Karl Taylor (L) was one of nearly 10,000 people in New York prisons who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. (Photo courtesy Julia Ramsay-Nobles)
Karl Taylor (L) was one of nearly 10,000 people in New York prisons who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. (Photo courtesy Julia Ramsay-Nobles)
February 27, 2020

NEW YORK -- Attorneys have reached a landmark $5 million settlement in a lawsuit over the 2015 death of a New York state prisoner at the hands of corrections officers.

Prison officials had claimed that 51-year-old Karl Taylor died of a heart attack. But lawyers for Taylor's family alleged the man, who suffered from mental illness, had been beaten and strangled by guards in retaliation for striking officers in a fight.

The settlement is almost three times the largest amount previously awarded in this type of case in a New York state prison.

According to attorney Adeel Mangi, it also requires the prison to install audio and video recording devices in the prison at an estimated cost of $15 million.

"So, there will be an objective record of every interaction, and we expect that incidents of abuse against inmates will plummet as a result," he points out.

A forensic expert testified that Taylor's death was due to sustained compression of his neck with the thumb and fingers of a right hand, not from blows suffered during a fight.

Mangi says four years of investigation revealed that abuse by corrections officers at the Sullivan Correctional Facility was common.

"There was a pervasive practice at this correctional facility of inmates who had assaulted staff being taken out into the hallway and being subjected to retaliatory beatings, which were called 'tune-ups,'" Mangi states.

He adds that most victims of such abuse come from poor families without the resources to pursue the intense litigation needed to win a major settlement.

The lawsuit not only sought to hold the corrections officers accountable in Taylor's death, but also the prison superintendent and his deputy.

Mangi asserts they had created what he calls "a culture of absolute impunity" among the prison staff.

"Until we start holding the people in charge accountable at the very highest levels of the Department of Corrections, nothing will change," Mangi stresses. "So, this trial was a small step towards making that process start."

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - NY