Sheriff all but admits guilt in killing of Cayne Miceli

Today’s Times-Picayune reports that the ACLU is looking into deaths at Orleans Parish Prison. Near the end of the article it reads: Gusman emphasized that Miceli, who stopped breathing less than five hours after she was put into the restraints, didn’t die at the jail but at University Hospital. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital after she was resuscitated by jail medical staff.

“She was revived,” Gusman said. “She didn’t die here.”

It’s just as I noted in my original post, hardly anyone “officially” dies in jail. Except this time, the facts are even more horrible. Cayne Miceli, a severe asthmatic for years, was restrained flat on her back with a heavy strap across her torso FOR MORE THAN FOUR HOURS! Sheriff Gusman said it himself.

Orleans Parish Prison is a torture chamber. It violates basic human rights and international laws regarding detainees. It must be held accountable. Nobody is safe. Going to jail for a municipal charge, without arraignment, can result in a death sentence with no judge, no jury, no indictment and no mercy.

I am ashamed of my city right now.

Here is a link to a press release from the ACLU.

The family is holding a Catholic Mass in remembrance of Cayne on Saturday, Jan 24 at 10AM at Our Lady of the Gulf in Gulf Shores, AL where Cayne spent her childhood. Friends are planning other events and memorials as well. Information can be found first at the Yahoo group dedicated to Cayne.

Cayne Miceli @ NO Jazz Fest 2008 photo by Kim Uddo (Links to slideshow)

Cayne Miceli @ NO Jazz Fest 2008 photo by Kim Uddo (Links to slideshow)


10 responses

  1. Tony in Opelousas

    To Steve and the good people of New Orleans – perhaps it is time for a boycott of the city of New Orleans started BY THE PEOPLE of New Orleans.

    The topic at least be discussed. Based on the circumstances of this case there is very little doubt that the word would spread far, wide, and fast.


  2. Thank you, thank you for continuing to get Cayne’s story out. She and I were close friends over a twenty year period, but not geographically close lately. Cayne was all about connectivity. I kept in touch with long lost friends through her. Her smile and spirit were so bright that she was the kind of person everybody wanted to be around, to know, and to love. While the injustices done to her are unthinkable, they have nonetheless occurred. And it is up to us, those who will never stop loving her, to make some good come of this. Nothing will bring her back, but never again should someone in respiratory distress (or anyone for that matter) have to endure the kind of torture she was subjected to. Never.

  3. This is so distressing to read, but at least we have some progress in getting to the truth of what happened to Cayne on that horrible night. I am happy to know that the ACLU is on the case. At least now Sheriff Gusman (for one)has been outed.

    But I personally do not think that the staff at Tulane should be let off the hook. Who in the ER called the police on her that night? As has been stressed in this and the Times’ blog by several who have posted, one of the well known side effects of prednisone is anxiety and agitation. She should have been monitored for side effects post administration! She was not guilty of disturbing the peace – she was reacting predictably to a drug that they gave her. And they punished her helpless reaction by calling the police. The word “irresponsible” comes to mind, but when their actions result in a death, it hardly seems sufficient.

    Those at the prison are certainly culpable and those involved must be outed; but Tulane Medical Center has much to answer for as well.

  4. My husband, an attorney, was beaten by deputies at OPP. He was arrested during a psychotic episode after he did not take medication. He has no prior criminal record. The police were called by me to get him to a hospital, not a jail. When he got to the jail, he called me. They wouldn’t tell him his bond amount. Being an attorney, he is quite familiar with his rights and made the comment to me that “They are violating my constitutional rights.” After he said that to me, I heard a deputy tell him they were putting him in restraints. They made him urinate over himself while in restraints. In the middle of the night, two deputies came in and beat him. He had a black eye and could not hear out of his left ear for a couple of weeks.

    These are the people that are running our jails down here people. Does it really surprise you that two people are dead there in a week?

  5. Im an ex New Orleans cop i have some info that may or not be helpful on canye’s death, cornor etc.
    How can I get in touch with her father?

    1. The best way is to contact attorney Mary Howell at 504-822-4455

      Thank you for trying to be helpful.

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