“I can’t breathe” and “I can’t take it no more.” Visitor Information & Inmate Locator- Prison Inmate Search

"I can't breathe" and "I can't take it no more." - Prison Inmate Search

“I can’t breathe” and “I can’t take it no more.”

“I can’t breathe” and “I can’t take it no more” are two tragic statements revealing an ugly side of law enforcement in the United States. Eric Garner’s plea for help occurred on a public street in New York City, and Darren Rainey screamed for mercy in a Florida prison.

“I can’t breathe’ were the last words of Eric Garner. The shocking video tape revealed  the tragic death of another minority American at the hands of law enforcement. Despite a video showing a New York police officer using a banned chokehold on Mr.Garner,  the police officer was not indicted. Excessive force and/or brutal actions occur not only on Main street, but in our prisons and jails throughout the United States.

“I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,” was screamed by Darren Rainey as he was scalded to death in a Florida prison. Mr. Rainey was a Black american who suffered from mental illnesses. On June 23, 2012, he was locked in a locked closet sized shower by prison guards after defecating in his cell and refusing to clean the mess. Mr. Rainey, because of his history of mental health issues, was incarcerated in the mental health unit at the Dade Correctional Unit in Miami, Florida. According to an inmate who worked at the unit as an orderly, the tiny shower was filled with steam and scalding water.

After one hour, the guards checked on Mr. Rainey. A medical document regarding his death noted that his skin was extremely burned and had shriveled from his body. The inmate, Mr. Hempstead, who witnessed the end of inmate Rainey, filed a grievance complaint stating that Mr. Rainey kept screaming, “I can’t take it no more, I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.” According to court records, the water temperature in the show was close to 105 degrees. A medical note showed more than 90 percent of Rainey’s body was burned and his skin came off when touched. No criminal charges have been filed against any prison guard for this brutal death. Almost fifty prison guards were fired in Florida this past year because of prison abuse allegations.

There are many good police officers and correctional officers who go to work every day doing their best under trying circumstances. However, there are a significant number of law enforcement officers who are prejudiced in their actions against  Americans who are of different color, race, religion, and even against those who have mental health issues. We need a zero tolerance policy for bigotry, excessive force, and acts of brutalization by the police in the outside world and by the correctional officers inside our prisons and jails.

By Bradley Schwartz:
Founder of prisonpath.com

3 Responses to “I can’t breathe” and “I can’t take it no more.”

  1. PrisonPath December 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Inhuman treatment of inmates and brutal force used against is becoming the order of the day.There is no shortage of correctional officers with kind heart and respect for rules,still incidents of cruelty and degradation overshadow their good work.This is high time that a national level commission should inquire and give the nation a future policy based on sound foundation.”
    By: shaukat

    • Nanaymie Godfrey December 5, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      Brought to you by the social institutions that espouse hierarchy and profit over humanity and compassion!

  2. Nick December 10, 2014 at 4:36 am #



    Policemen & constables are by nature first responders. While they are not physicians and are thus technically not bound by the Hippocratic Oath, as first responders a reasonable person has to assume that at the very least by extension, the clause,in the oath which says, “First Do no Harm” would have to apply to those dedicated to saving lives. Yet in Staten Island, New York, the cries of a citizen who said, “I can’t breathe were met by a constriction of that citizens throat. If a patient told his doctor, “I can’t breathe”, the last thing she would do would be to further constrict his air passage. If she did not only would she face a loss of her medical license, she would also likely face one jury in a medical malpractice action and another one in a criminal manslaughter case.

    One of the principles I remember from my First a Year Torts
    Class when I was a law student was the “But for a Doctrine”. But for the actions of the New York City Police Department Eric Garner would be spending this holiday season with his family. The fact that he is not is a tragedy.

    Roland Nicholson, Jr.
    Washington, DC

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