Unfolding Edwin Segarra’s death record: Bureau of Prisons provides vague info on Brooklyn prisoner’s death

Photo-503 re
Protesters call for answers outside the Metropolitan Detention Center on Feb. 8th.
Photo by Dean Moses

The mystery surrounding the death of Edwin Segarra continues to haunt family members after the Metropolitan Detention Center’s inmate perished from COVID-19 on Feb. 5.

Following the protest outside of the Brooklyn jail on Feb. 8, calling for the release of details in Segarra’s death from COVID-19 mere days after he received the first dose of the vaccine, amNewYork Metro reached out to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) concerning this case.

In a statement, a BOP representative says that they have been working with the CDC and federal government to distribute inoculations to eligible, imprisoned individuals, administering the drug as it becomes available.

Through this statement, they shared that the vaccine has now been dispatched to more than 100 of BOP’s facilities, including the Metropolitan Detention Center where Segarra contracted the deadly virus. However, the BOP also emphasized that it is not their decision regarding who receives the vaccine.

Currently, they have received 43,580 vaccination doses and administered 43,544. Their initial plan offered the vaccine to full-time staff that travel from the facility and into the community, creating what they deemed a higher transmission rate.

“Remaining doses at the locations referenced above were, and will be, provided to inmates based on priority of need in accordance with CDC guidelines, and inmates will continue to receive the vaccine as provided by the COVID-19 Vaccine/Therapeutics Operation,” the statement provided to amNewYork Metro read.

Segarra’s family members claim that days after receiving the vaccine, on Jan. 23, he sent a text to his wife stating he caught the novel coronavirus and was feeling unwell—the jail has a program that allows inmates to text. Soon thereafter the 46-year-old was rushed to NYU Langone in Brooklyn, where he died on Feb. 5th.

Segarra’s son, Eddie, told amNewYork Metro that the Metropolitan Detention Center will not release his father’s body nor will they respond to requests for the release of his medical records.

While the BOP declined to discuss Segarra’s case specifically due to privacy concerns, they have commented on the procedures they take when an inmate passes away. 

“With respect to inmate deaths, each inmate death is handled according to policy and based on the circumstances surrounding the death.  Some procedures governing inmate death protocols are determined locally at each institution because of the differences in laws from state to state. The classification of death is determined by the coroner and not BOP staff. Additionally, notifications are made in a timely fashion. (e.g. agency and departmental staff, family members or next of kin, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the Probation Office, and Consulate for Non-US citizens),” the BOP wrote.

More from around NYC