The following story was submitted to CopBlock.org by Emmanuel Rendon.
My nephew George Ivan Salgado died on April 13, 2012. I can remember this horrible day like it was yesterday. I arrived to Larkin Community Hospital to the Intensive Care Unit on Thursday April 12, 2012 . I saw my nephew laying in a coma, unresponsive and clinging to life, loosing blood by the liter. He looked disfigured from all the lumps and bruises on his face and head.
My nephew George and I lived in the same house. To tell you the truth, I could not recognize my own nephew. All I saw was blood from his nose, mouth ears, and eyebrow. His legs had more lumps and bruises. According to West Miami Police and Miami Dade Police, they responded to man acting irrational and naked in a backyard of a home in 57 avenue & 23 street S.W on Thursday 4/12/2012 AROUND 3:30 PM, just outside Coral Gables area in West Miami.
Officers say my nephew was combative. Eight to ten officers were at the scene with my nephew. Details, even a year later, are so UNCLEAR that you can easily tell the police are hiding something. Anyhow, my nephew was beat to death. Well, almost to death – he collapsed at the scene and immediately entered a coma, which eventually was how and where he died. George Ivan Salgado held on for dear life for 13 hours after his encounter with police. According to doctors, he bled to death. George was given 5 blood transfusions in 13 hours; after his 5th transfusion, he went into cardiac arrest. The doctors could not bring him back. My nephew George suffered 12 cardiac arrests before the 13th cardiac arrest took his life. George was at a girl friend’s house partying at the time of the incident.
My nephew George, at 5’6 and 150 lbs, was an unarmed college student. George was literally beaten ’til the cows came home. According to one witness, she heard screams as if they were killing or butchering someone. She came to my nephew’s rescue to be threatened by police to mind her business or suffer the consequences. Being that she is illegal in the country, she felt that the officer meant his threat to her.
She briefly described seeing my nephew on his chest, naked, hog tied, handcuffed by wrists and ankles. Several officers huddled around him, while he was screaming, yelling out for help. Little did my nephew know, help was going to kill him. Because the hospital was afraid of a multi-million dollar suit, the hospital protected themselves by taking pictures of my nephew’s condition upon arrival to the Emergency Room of Larkin Community Hospital in South Miami, FL . My nephew was in compulsions, bound by ankle and wrist cuffs. Once my nephew died, his body was kept out of families reach, preventing us from taking any incriminating photos that would show police brutality. These photos would have been the key piece of evidence that would paint an entirely different story from the one officers in the Internal Affairs Investigation are stating.
My nephew died Friday April 13,2012 at 4:00 am from the extreme amount of bruising and internal bleeding. Any doctor can tell this patient suffered intense or massive trauma to the head and body. Any one of these blows could have taken his life. Here is where the story get juicier: We called the news and media and told them my nephew got beaten and that the police were going to cover it up; they were going to make my nephew George I. Salgado the aggressor and make them the heroes in this story. Sure enough, the day after my nephew’s death we get contacted by John Turchin of WPLG channel 10 news in Miami, Fl. He stated to us that Miami Medical Examiner Dr. Lee made his medical analysis and came to the conclusion that George I. Salgaldo died from an overdose of cocaine and not from the blunt force trauma to the head and body. At least 10-15 doctors painted a completely different story, we told John Turchin.
Well, we knew then that he did not die from cocaine that day, and we know now also. Why? The hospital ran urine and blood analysis while at the hospital, before my nephew’s death. No drugs and no alcohol were found in his body. NONE. The toxicology report came six months later, which is a bit long if you ask me for a police-involved murder. The toxicology report came out negative for any narcotic or alcohol. The police justified this by saying my nephew was on a steroid which made him resistant to police pepper spray, handcuffs, and electric stun gun.
According to pictures obtained by the hospital, my nephew’s wrists and ankles were bound while he was beat. He died with no defensive wounds. None of the police officers suffered any scrapes. It’s a shame that in order to convict a police officer of beating someone to death, you must first get a medical examiner who is willing to cooperate. Dr. Lee has ruled in favor of the police, stating his death was done by himself, basically. He said he committed suicide with cocaine. It took us 10 days to find a competent medical examiner who was willing to contradict all of Dr. Lee’s medical findings and analysis.
Why did it take us 10 days? There’s so much police intimidation and fear of retaliation that it seems there’s no competent medical examiner who is willing to take on the police in a murder case. All the doctors who we interviewed told us for a 2nd autopsy it would range from $7500 to $10,000. We would respond with, “What if the person you’re examining was beat to death by police?” All the Miami Dade county medical examiners denied us their services after being notified that this was a police-involved homicide.
Luckily, we were referred to Dr. Marraccini, a high profile murder case medical examiner in the Los Angles area and in South Florida as well. Dr. Marraccini notified Dr. Lee that he was taking a look at his medical analysis and finding relating to my nephew’s death. Dr. Marraccini told him he did not have cocaine in his body. “How did you come to that conclusion?” he asked. Dr. Lee replied by saying the doctor was right, he died from another medical condition called Pathariumtheyrom, which is where the body overheats itself to 110 degrees Fahrenheit due to narcotics in the body. Dr. Marraccini countered Dr. Lee’s statement. He told the doctor that the vessels in his eyes were not bleeding, which is a clear indication of Pathariumtheyrom. “You’re right, I guess I have no idea what possibly killed George I. Salgado.” Yes, you have heard correctly, the cause of death a year later is still conveniently UNKNOWN.
There’s a saying in the court room; the “truth shall set you free.” If the officers in this Internal Affairs Investigation share the truth, it will put them behind bars. Why? They lost self control, they betrayed the badge and acted like vigilantes, and furthermore they took a life of a person who was unarmed and restrained according to all the evidence. Dr. Marraccini was able to discover a dictionary full of missed possible causes of death, in order from head to toe. George Ivan Salgado suffered lots of brain hemorrhaging, a fractured frontal cranium, fractured eye socket, fractured upper & lower jaw, fractured trachea, fractured shoulder, 6 broken ribs, fractured pelvis, dislocated hip bone, and massive trauma to the penis/testicle area. Also, there were signs of the electric stun gun marks; he had 12 entries which means at least 6 cartridges or stun guns were used on George I. Salgado. He had four asp bruises or markings, one size 10 boot print at his hair line on the back of his neck, two swollen and bloody wrists and ankles, with a 2 line parallel pattern like the markings of handcuffs.
My nephew never spoke to anyone and said what happened. Like the killers in the movies, no witnesses means no convictions in a murder case. The officer’s stories are the only piece of story we have from that horrible day. We all see Mixed Martial Arts on TV. I have not seen a fighter get beat as bad as my nephew looked the morning he died. He looked like he was being initiated in the GANG of Fraternal Order of Corrupt Cops and died in the process. Sorry, you took the beating but did not live to tell the story. The worse part of this story is that these eight to ten officers all have some sort disciplinary report against them. Instead of firing them and holding them accountable, they were transferred to another agency in another city to beat up more people. Ten to fifteen doctors say he was beat to death, one high-profile medical examiner says he was severely beat to death and one medical examiner can not determine what the cause of death was.
What can we do? Fire the medical examiner, and ask for a competent doctor. The evidence is clear as day, but when police corruption runs deep in Miami, you have a better chance of winning the lottery and getting struck by lighting in one day than of being able to have these cops held accountable for their crimes. According to Katherine Fernandez Rundle State Attorney in Miami Dade County, no crime was committed as officers are allowed to discipline or combat a combative suspect. Please, if you visit Miami, know the cops here kill… for fun. No case will be solved in your memory, like my nephew’s hasn’t been. The case has gone cold, no one has been arrested. The first 48 hours came and went and no one is held responsible for his death… it sucks trying to cope with his loss.
All the attorneys we encountered were too busy worrying about the financial retribution for his death from the two agencies in this matter. No amount of money will ever bring my nephew back. We don’t give a fuck about money, we want heads to roll. This is a bitter, sad reality in Miami: police do kick ass first and ask questions later. It’s like we have a gang of angry men dying to release their anger on anyone who looks worthy of them getting their adrenaline up. Do you know anyone important… enough to make heads roll in Miami, Fl?