Her Family Is Still Trying Figure Out What Happened

Lackawanna Police squad car
Via Facebook
William Anderson
October 13, 2020

When India Cummings called the police she was seeking help. She was disoriented and seemed confused about her own behavior. She had no criminal record but ended up leading the police on a chase, crashing, and then being arrested.

India ended up in the Erie County Holding Center instead of in the hospital where she needed to be. Her physical and her mental health was not treated with the care she needed and she was dead less than a month later.

The Buffalo News reports the state Commission of Correction’s Medical Review Board has said care was “so grossly incompetent and inadequate as to shock the conscience.” They’re calling it “homicide due to medical neglect.”

Her death isn’t the first at Erie County Holding Center and it probably won’t be the last. Sheriff Tim Howard, who is overseeing Erie County jails said: “It’s not a country club, and we don’t want it to be a country club.”

India’s mother Tawana Wyatt told the Appeal, “I have suffered many losses, but the loss of my daughter is by far the worst.” India’s family and friend deserve more. Unfortunately, this sort of neglect is routine for Black people in prisons and jails.

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