Family of Hempstead man who died in NYC detention center demands accountability, information
A family is demanding answers about a Hempstead man's death in a New York City detention center after he was allegedly pepper-sprayed in his prison cell.
Jamel Allen Floyd, 35, grew up in Hempstead and had his funeral held across the street from his middle school. His family says he died after being pepper-sprayed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on June 3.
Floyd's family says Jamel was asthmatic, and they believe the spray caused his death because he could not breathe.
"Jamel did not deserve to die the way he died in that facility," says James Floyd, Jamel's father.
"When they went in, the inmates started yelling 'you're going to kill him, leave that man alone,'" says Tomika Mays, Jamel's cousin.
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Jamel was led to his final resting place in a horse-drawn carriage, surrounded by family and friends dressed in his favorite colors. The family was set to come home in a few months.
"They made a mockery out of Jamel Floyd, right after George Floyd was killed," says Mays about Jamel, whose family is not related to the Minneapolis man.
The family says while they're celebrating Jamel's life Tuesday, they remain focused on finding out exactly how he died. They say the information they've been given up to this point doesn't make sense. Jamel's family has led protests of their own at the detention center.
"We just want them to recognize what they did to my son was unjustified, it was murder," says James Floyd.
Jamel Floyd's family says they want video of the incident and the medical records to be released. The Department of Justice says it will investigate Floyd's death.