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Black woman died days after prison guard threatened to beat her — now her family wants to know why

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The family of a 36-year-old black woman found dead in a Florida prison cell, days after a prison guard threatened her life, has filed suit against the state claiming prison authorities are engaged in a cover-up.

According to the Miami Herald, the family of Latandra Ellington says the mother of four had been beaten, subjected to inhumane treatment and did not receive proper medical care. Ellington was serving the last 7 months of a twenty-two month sentence for grand theft at the time of her death last year.

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Ellington was in protective custody when she died after prison authorities were informed that a guard, identified as Patrick Quercioli, reportedly threatened to kill her by beating her with his radio.

Ten days before her death, Ellington had written to her family about threats from Quercioli — referred to as “Sgt. Q” — and another guard identified as “Thrasher.” According to Ellington, she claimed she had angered Quercioli when she caught him having sex with another inmate.

In her letter she wrote: ““He was gone [sic] beat me to death and mess me like a dog. He was all in my face Sqt. Q then he grab his radio and said he was gone bust me in my head with it…”

Less than 24 hours after being moved, Ellington was found dead in her cell. According to Florida medical examiner Barbara Wolf, Ellington died from heart disease.

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Unhappy with the examiner’s report, Ellington’s family paid for a private autopsy which showed that she had lethal levels of the blood pressure medicine amlodopine in her system. The family also claims she had bruising, a cut on her face and showed other signs of abuse.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Quercioli —who has a prior criminal record of his own that includes illegal  possession of steroids — has left their employment.

No one has been charged in the death of Ellington.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Elementary school cheer squad parents raffling off an AM-15 automatic weapon as a fundraiser

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Just weeks after a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio killed nine people, only 200 miles away in Richmond, the cheer squad is selling raffle tickets to sell a semi-automatic gun.

Fox19 reported Wednesday that the Junior Lions Cheer Team have infuriated Heather Chilton, who's 7-year-old daughter is on the squad for the first time.

"This is absurd, you're having elementary kids sell your AR-15. Why?" Chilton said. "I highly doubt that something would happen with the gun, but say it did. Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I'm the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?"

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Gov. Jay Inslee withdraws from presidential election

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that he was officially leaving the presidential race Thursday.

He said that he got into the race with the intention of trying to raise the important issue of climate change and demand the issue be part of the conversation in the debates.

The Democratic Party has refused to have a debate that focuses exclusively on climate change, despite the numerous plans, ideas and approaches from the 20-plus candidates running for president.

He said that he isn't currently endorsing other candidates for 2020, but he hopes that his "atlas" for a climate plan will be adopted by other candidates.

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Scorching WaPo editorial tells Trump to own his bad economy and stop blaming the fed

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

In a scathing piece from the Washington Post editorial board, the team at one of the nation's top papers told President Donald Trump to stop trying to pretend it's the Federal Reserve's fault for a slumping economy.

Trump has tried to claim that the economy isn't just fine, but outstanding and excelling expectations. Yet, in the same breath, Trump claims that that the Federal Reserve is responsible for all of the problems he says don't exist. It's enough for The Post editorial board to note the economic message is "remarkably dissonant."

Trump decided to that the Fed must lower interest rates and engage in “quantitative easing” to lower bonds. It's part of a tactic the Fed uses during tough times, which Trump says don't exist. Even during the worst financial crisis in a generation, in 2008, "quantitative easing" was controversial. Then there is the matter of a payroll tax cut, something Trump said he was looking at before saying he wasn't looking at it. But if there's no crisis, then why is it necessary.

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