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Two Prisoners Killed in Second Nebraska Prison Riot in Two Years

Prisoners Damon Fitzgerald, 39, and Michael Galindo, 31, died in Nebraska’s second deadly prison riot in two years. Officials at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution offered few details about the deaths, but said the March 2, 2017 disturbance involved about 40 prisoners in a 128-man unit.

In addition to the fatalities, other injuries were reported after protesting prisoners revolted against staff members and started a fire in a courtyard. The facility was placed on lockdown for several hours after the prisoners refused to return to their cells. An investigation found they were trying to air grievances about disrespect from inexperienced staff and what they viewed as perks given to certain prisoners and not others. No prison employees were injured.

The incident occurred in the same housing unit where prisoners Donald Peacock, 46, and Shon Collins, 46, were killed during a May 2015 riot that caused roughly $2 million in damage. [See: PLN, Dec. 2016, p.63; Sept. 2016, p.63; Dec. 2015, p.63].

Some lawmakers and prisoner advocates said the latest uprising is proof that the governor and corrections officials haven’t responded quickly enough to problems revealed by the deadly 2015 disturbance. “The horrific conditions of confinement rampant in Nebraska prisons threaten public safety now and into the future,” said Danielle Conrad, executive director of the ACLU of Nebraska. She added her organization plans to file a lawsuit against state officials to force additional reforms.