The definition of negligence, as it applies to the law, is “failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another,” according to Google’s online dictionary. That’s exactly what the inmates appear to be describing in the article by the San Antonio Express News. And we are so glad that a big San Antonio media source is pointing it out. We’ve tried to show the incompetence of the Salazar administration for quite a while but we don’t have anywhere near the viewership that a news organization has.
In the article (I was able to view the whole thing on my cell phone) they say they spoke to “nearly a dozen inmates, their families and lawyers.” The article goes on to describe the close living conditions, the failure to clean frequently and consistently, and watered down disinfect. It goes on to say that the inmates are not being fed properly and at least on one occasion, were not fed at all. The inmates say they were given flimsy masks which are not being changed out daily. They also say that they are given one of those hotel sized bars of soap to last the week and are being denied if they ask for more.
According to one inmate, he was moved to a new location at the South Tower but the area was dirty. When they asked for cleaner their request was denied. When he asked for a new mask, his request was denied.
Sheriff Salazar’s Response to the Accusations
Salazar admitted that a meal was skipped but says it was due to contaminated food. The article goes on to say that Salazar claims they are working with Aramark. If they are working with them, that indicates it is an ongoing problem, not a one time thing, which supports the claims the inmates have made of not being given sufficient food. As far as the cleaning supplies, Salazar says the water may not smell like it has disinfectant in it but that it meets proper disinfecting criteria. He also says that inmates can ask for a second bar of soap when they use up the first one and that more masks have been ordered.
The Express News article quotes Salazar and, in this case, it’s something we completely agree with.
“A jail has the capability of incubating an illness and amplifying it,” Salazar said Friday. “You have 100 people who are walking out that door on a daily basis. That’s scary. The last thing I want to do is be responsible for an outbreak in the community of someone leaving the jail.”
Salazar may not want to be responsible but he is. He has done a pathetically poor job of anticipating problems. Everything he has done has been too little, too late and to try to make it seem as if he’s doing his job. He frequently says ‘we’re doing (some positive action)’ when what he really means is we just started doing it so this (whatever the problem is) doesn’t look so bad for us. We have watched the failures of the Salazar administration, and his spin of those failures, for over three years now. It’s to the point where we believe the inmates over the sheriff.
If you will notice, the Express News spoke to the attorneys of those inmates, also. I will not be surprised if Bexar County has multiple lawsuits for negligence filed against the Sheriff’s Office. We have seen, over and over, that the Salazar administration has made moves AFTER something became a problem. And we don’t think the lawsuits will be just from inmates. The employees have been given almost as little regard as the inmates.
Who can blame anyone for suing the current Sheriff’s Office administration? We were all hearing about the virus long before it hit our area yet the Salazar administration did not put guidelines in place regarding reporting contact and travel employees may have had. We all knew that people in China were wearing masks yet they did not order staff and inmates to wear masks. When they did get masks, they gave everyone one. That includes the staff. Masks are supposed to be changed out daily. Information is everywhere about how to wear masks and how long they should be worn. They even have medical staff stationed in the jail they could have asked. These are not reasonable attempts to address a situation, they are a cover-up for incompetence. We could give many more examples and the bad thing is, there is probably more that has gone on that has been hidden from the public.
These were foreseeable issues. Even a mediocre attorney will be able to prove that. The Sheriff’s Office has not met it’s obligation to protect the inmates or employees at the Bexar County Jail. Their procrastination in taking reasonable measures to protect people will more than likely cost us financially and could even cost lives. I hope everyone remembers this in November.
We highly recommend you read the full San Antonio Express News article. It has much more detail.