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Mentally Ill Patient's Secret Incarceration and Wrongful Death Cover-up

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Message Mary Neal
Since Judge Shoob's dismissal of the Neals' lawsuit, saying the firm Cochran, Cherry, Givens, Smith, & Sistrunk, P.C. (an alias name, apparently) was improperly served a lawsuit meant for The Cochran Firm, Larry's family also established an organization to advocate for the incarcerated mentally ill.  The objectives of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill are to (1) help decriminalize mental illness in America; (2) destroy the stigma attached to mental dysfunctions; (3) eliminate excessive force by police when psychotic persons must be arrested to prevent harm to self and others; and (4) limit the time that mental patients remain in correctional institutions following arrest, when they should actually be hospitalized; and (5) destroy barriers to timely treatment for patients in need of help.  See the links below for more information about AIMI:

Neal’s Care2 Page

Announcing Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill (“AIMI”)

Enforced Treatment vs. Prison
Enforced Treatment vs. Prison for Acute Mental Patients

The Justice Department is entrusted with the responsibility to investigate and provide oversight for hospitals and correctional facilities where there are or may have been civil rights violations to patients or inmates.  Following suit by the U.S.A., the Shelby County Jail was mandated under the terms of its Agreement with the USDOJ to timely file reports documenting any inmate injuries and deaths.  Apparently, once Shelby County Government knew the Neals had contracted with its most long-standing County Commissioner, Julian Bolton, no such report was filed with the USDOJ about Larry Neal's death. 
When the USDOJ refuses to uphold justice, where do citizens turn?

I contemplated the plight of sick citizens yesterday as I prepared my morning coffee and sat down to read the newspaper. The headline that greeted me in The Atlanta-Journal Constitution proclaimed that mental patients in Georgia
’s beleaguered mental health system are in “immediate jeopardy” of physical harm caused by shortage of staff and overcrowded conditions.

Report puts more pressure on Georgia Regional Hospital/Atlanta
See also: 
Hidden Shame: Death in Georgia’s Mental Hospitals  

I wondered as I read the article just how many other deaths of mental patients are swept under the rug as Larry’s was. Our justice system regularly incarcerates such disabled Americans for misdemeanors like vagrancy, disturbing the peace, and creating a public nuisance. Occasionally, acute mental patients are charged with more serious offenses, like murder. However, these citizens are less likely to kill than to be killed themselves by police during arrests by gunshot or Taser blasts, and others die in prison restraint chairs.

Tasers Used to Tame BestBuy Shopper

Justice Quest for America’s Mentally Ill Prisoners

Closure regarding the untimely deaths of loved ones is important to family members left behind. Larry's family expected to have answers regarding his demise years ago, and certainly by this time. We yet hope to learn what happened to Larry during discovery in our federal lawsuit presently pending against The Cochran Firm for its fraud.  (Neals v. The Cochran Firm, et al., USDC Northern Dist. of GA, Civil Action No.
1:07-cv-1935, (2007)) Perhaps this time justice will not be withheld because Larry was indigent, black, and handicapped.

Five years have been a long wait for our justice system to finally acknowledge that even disabled people like Larry deserve to have their civil rights protected and even poor families like Larry’s elderly mother and sister deserve closure. How many white or wealthy families have ever needed to solicit signatures on a petition to plead for an investigation following the mysterious death of a loved one, especially when the deceased died in government custody?

Dog Justice for the Mentally Ill Petition I

Dog Justice for the Mentally Ill Petition II

Despite the Memphis/Shelby County code of secrecy, Duane Johnson's police brutality video surfaced and was widely viewed in June 2008.  Courageous Memphis bloggers like Thaddeus Matthews continue to tell about activities in the MPD that powerful forces in local government would prefer to keep secret.  Larry Neal's family is hopeful that someone will eventually come forward with information about the secret arrest and death of this disabled American while in government custody, since no government agency or official we have contacted in five years has been willing to give us that information.  Apparently, sunshine laws are not in effect in Memphis, Tennessee.

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Founder and director of Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill ("AIMI"), an advocacy agency established in 2007 to (a) decriminalize mental illness in America; (b) remove the stigma associated with mental illness; (c) increase accessibility to (more...)
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Mentally Ill Patient's Secret Incarceration and Wrongful Death Cover-up


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