April 27, 2012
Do Not Dismiss: ACLU files opposition memorandum to keep U.S. government in civil rights lawsuit of Chinese national
The Rhode Island Affiliate of The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), represented by Motley Rice members Fidelma Fitzpatrick and Bob McConnell, filed a federal court brief in opposition to the United States' motion for summary judgment in a wrongful death lawsuit involving Chinese detainee Hiu Lui "Jason" Ng. The United States has asked the court to relieve the government from liability in the case.
was a 34-year-old detainee who died of untreated terminal liver cancer and a fractured spine while in the custody of immigration officials at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I. The ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of his family in 2009 against numerous defendants, including Wyatt facility officials and employees and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), alleging, among other charges, constitutionally inadequate medical care, denial of counsel and excessive force and brutality. The U.S. District Court of Rhode Island has set a September 2012 trial date for this case.
"We believe that Mr. Ng was treated in a shockingly inhumane and degrading manner at the Wyatt Detention Center -abused, medically neglected and tortured at Wyatt until his death. Mr. Ng was an immigration detainee, and we feel strongly that the U.S. had a duty to him that it breached. It should not be allowed to wash its hands of this matter and attempt to blame Wyatt solely for this tragedy, " said McConnell.