By CAROL MARBIN MILLER
Miami Herald, FL
Omar Paisley, Danny Matthews, Shawn Smith and a now a 16-year-old named Robert.
Three children who are dead; a fourth who was allegedly raped.
All of their deaths or abuse happened in a state juvenile detention center. And in each case, one of the most crucial pieces of evidence was missing: the jail's surveillance tapes.
Lawmakers, child advocates, parents and agency critics are demanding to know why critical investigations at state juvenile detention centers have been hampered by either faulty videotape equipment or theft.
The latest case involves a 16-year-old severely mentally retarded boy, who allegedly was raped twice last summer by another inmate. That inmate, a 17-year-old accused sex offender, had been ordered by guards to change the younger boy's diapers.
An internal probe is underway by the state Department of Juvenile Justice into the disappearance of surveillance tapes that may have shed light on what happened to the boy. They were reported missing from a cabinet where they were stored at the Tallahassee juvenile detention center. The facility's superintendent, who has since been fired, told authorities the cabinet had been broken into twice.
Why did they take a child who is mentally handicapped to the point where he has to wear diapers and put him in prison? Why did they put a sex offender in charge of changing his diapers? Why is this being covered up?
The next time you hear the drug warriors claim they are conducting this war against us in order to save our children, remember this and remember what they truly have in store for our children.