Autopsy shows transgender asylum-seeker who died in ICE custody was beaten up
Report stated that the 33-year-old's body was marked by "deep bruises" and "contusions" which were consistent with "blows and/or kicks and possible strikes with a blunt object."
A transgender asylum-seeker, identified as 33-year-old Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, who reportedly fell sick and died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may have been beaten up while she was in the federal custody, an independent autopsy report has revealed.
The report stated that the 33-year-old's body was marked by "deep bruises" and "contusions" which were consistent with "blows and/or kicks and possible strikes with a blunt object," The Washington Post reported on Monday. Hernández 's wrist reportedly showed signs of extensive hemorrhaging, which is "typical of handcuff injuries." The news outlet also added that the autopsy was commisioned by Hernández’s family.
Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, a 33-year-old trans woman from Honduras, died nine days after being transferred to the Cibola County Correctional Center operated by CoreCiciv, the second-largest private prison company in the United States. https://t.co/aurTadpRv8 pic.twitter.com/gGfzuehbPz— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) November 26, 2018
The California-based Transgender Law Center, said that the autopsy shows Hernández “endured physical assault and abuse while in custody." The organization, along with other activist groups, is reportedly planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit against ICE and other federal immigration agencies on behalf of the trans woman's family. The autopsy report also revealed that Hernández, who was HIV-positive, died from “severe complications of dehydration."
The director of litigation for the Transgender Law Center, Lynly Egyes, told the San Diego Union-Tribune, said: "People need to know that she died of dehydration. People need to know that her death was preventable.”
The findings of the report, however, was disputed by ICE. The spokesperson of the federal agency, Danielle Bennett, while talking to The Daily Beast, said that the agency could not "speak to the validity of the private autopsy," however, the allegations laid by the report that the 33-year-old was abused in ICE's custody "are false"
"A review of Hernández’s death conducted by ICE Health Service Corps medical professionals confirmed that she suffered from a history of untreated HIV. At no time did the medical personnel treating Ms. Hernández at Cibola General Hospital or Lovelace Medical Center raise any issues of suspected physical abuse,” Bennett said.
At a press conference this morning, @TransLawCenter Deputy Director Isa Noyola read from a translated statement written by Hernandez's sisters, who say Roxsana had a dream of opening a beauty salon. pic.twitter.com/JxakAYCCEE— Andrew Bowen (@acbowen) November 27, 2018
Hernández reportedly died on May 25, weeks after she arrived at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on the US-Mexico border as part of a caravan of migrants from Central America. The trans woman, who was from Honduras, had reportedly fled from the nation because of violence and discrimination.
Hernández was taken into ICE custody on May 9 and was reportedly detained in holding cells known as "iceboxes" because of the temperature inside the cells. Reports state lights in the cells are on 24 hours per day and she was not provided with sufficient medical care or food.