Northern Brooklyn

At the federal jail where power failed: A bomb threat and a lawsuit

February 4, 2019 The Associated Press
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The Sunset Park jail where last week’s 7-day power outage left inmates shivering in the dark came under both legal and violent threats on Monday.

A lawsuit was filed Monday morning, brought by lawyers for inmates at the Metropolitan Detention Center, calling the power failure that occurred there a “humanitarian crisis.” The Federal Defenders of New York, who are bringing the suit, allege that the Federal Bureau of Prisons violated the constitutional rights of about 1,600 inmates by denying legal visits after a Jan. 27 fire caused the failure.

Protesters gathered outside after news reports that inmates had largely been without heat or power for a week. The lawsuit says the outage caused “inhumane” conditions for inmates and the response was “woefully inadequate.” It calls for the appointment of a special master to inspect the lockup.

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At around 10:25 a.m. Monday morning, a bomb threat was called into the jail. Visitors and contractors were escorted out of the facility as a precaution, but normal operations resumed in the afternoon. NYPD assisted prison workers in searching for potential devices. Police and the Bureau of Prisons say no devices were found and no credible threat was identified, but NYPD is investigating the source of the threat.

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