Protesters call for release of inmates after the jail is named a “hot spot” for the virus


BINGHAMTON, NY – Protesters gathered outside Garnar’s briefing this afternoon to once again demand that vulnerable inmates be released from the Broome County Jail.

Activists and relatives of inmates flooded the parking lot of the Taste New York store on Upper Front Street calling on officials to take greater steps to reduce the population inside what Garnar has deemed on of Broome County’s hotspots.

Sheriff Dave Harder tells NewsChannel 34 that there are currently 22 confirmed coronavirus cases, 11 inmates and 11 corrections officers.

Many protesters believe those in jail for minor offenses should be let out.

They also want those with underlying medical conditions released.

Protester Irene Lunn says she has a loved one in jail right now, who hasn’t received any medical assistance at all.

“He is telling me it is getting harder to breathe, and he is being told to ‘shut your mouth or we will discipline you. You will get no more calls, no more messages, no more video chats, nothing,” says Lunn.

The loved one Lunn is referring to has been at the jail for three weeks, and she says he hasn’t received any treatment for his asthma and COPD.

Officers from the Broome County Sheriff’s office were on the scene before the protest officially began.

The protest was allowed to take place.

Garnar once again reiterated that he does not have the authority to release inmates and neither does the Sheriff.

The County Exec says it is a decision made by judges in concert with the District Attorney’s office and the inmate’s attorney.

Last week, DA Mike Korchak told NewsChannel 34 that roughly 5 inmates had been granted early release at that time.

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