Target: Robert D. Bernardi, Burlington County Prosecutor
Goal: Demand county prosecutor investigate further the inhumane treatment of a homeless inmate
The Burlington County, New Jersey jail has recently come under scrutiny for its treatment of a homeless inmate, who died in a segregated cell of the prison. Former inmates of the jail and an anonymous employee have all described the horrific way Robert Taylor, a 75-year-old man, was treated and left to die alone. The Burlington County Prosecutor, Robert D. Bernardi, has determined there was no criminal wrongdoing in the care of Taylor during his incarceration, but all other accounts suggest otherwise.
According to the jail employee, Taylor was a recurring inmate and also an alcoholic; the last time he was brought to the jail Taylor was clearly in very bad shape and going through detox. Despite requests by employees to get him medical attention, Taylor was taken to segregation in a cell with no mattress or blanket where he would remain for five days without eating or showering. The inmate in the cell next to Taylor’s described his horrible conditions; he could barely stand on his own, was unable to feed himself, and remained on the cold floor in his own feces and urination while officers on duty made degrading comments without offering to clean the mess or assist Taylor. He was left this way for five entire days until he died.
To claim that there was no criminal wrongdoing in this case blatantly ignores the allegations given by several witnesses, and their accounts warrant a further investigation into Taylor’s death. All human beings deserve to be treated with dignity, regardless of their current circumstance in life. Demand Bernardi reopen this case and hold accountable those responsible for the conditions that led to such a horrific ending for a homeless man.
Dear Mr. Bernardi,
The recent case of Robert Taylor’s death in Burlington County Jail is deeply troubling, and the accounts given by witnesses to his treatment warrant another look at Taylor’s death. Several witnesses, including an employee and fellow inmates, have given similar accounts that describe how Taylor was left to die in his own feces and urination without medical attention.
The prosecutor’s office recently claimed that there was no criminal wrongdoing, and that Taylor died of natural causes. This claim blatantly ignores the terrible negligence Taylor experienced. He should have been offered medical attention, given his condition, but was offered no option. I am writing to demand you reopen the investigation into Taylor’s death, taking into account those who have come forward to offer their knowledge of his treatment. No human being, homeless or not, should have to experience what Taylor did.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: BrokenSphere via Wikimedia Commons