Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Coal Region Canary
Coal Region CanaryCoal Region Canary

Local News

Advocacy Group Says “Aggressive Conduct” Led to SCI Mahanoy Inmate Death

tyrone briggs sci mahanoy death

The family of Tyrone Briggs says they “want justice” for their son.

Briggs died in custody at SCI-Mahanoy, in Frackville, on November 11. His family suspects the death is the result of “aggressive conduct” by corrections officers at the prison.

And they’ve been joined in their cause by the Abolitionist Law Center in Pittsburgh.

Abolitionist Law Center Representing Parents of Tyrone Briggs

Per an announcement released on Thursday from Abolitionist Law Center, the group says, “While very little information has been released about Mr. Briggs’ death, there is strong reason to believe that aggressive conduct of DOC staff directly caused it.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The advocacy group says it’s now representing Briggs’ parents, Shaleda and Ervin Busbee.

“We will accompany and fight with them to ensure that Mr. Briggs’ death does not become yet another extrajudicial killing by the state that goes by without justice and accountability,” their statement reads.

SCI-Mahanoy Reports Inmate Death – Tyrone Briggs

According to a prison statement announcing Briggs’ death, the inmate was “involved in an altercation with another inmate on the walkway near their housing unit. The prison says the following happened after the fight:

  • During processing into a restricted housing unit at SCI-Mahanoy, Briggs became unresponsive;
  • Medical staff at the prison were notified;
  • Briggs is transported to the medical triage area at SCI-Mahanoy: CPR initiated;
  • At 4:56 p.m. on Nov. 11, Dr. Muhammad Saifullah pronounces Briggs dead.

Right now, Pennsylvania State Police have an ongoing investigation at SCI-Mahanoy into Briggs’ death. Meanwhile, Schuylkill County Coroner David Moylan works to determine an official cause of death in Briggs’ case.

Prison Suspends 13 Employees During Investigation

Not soon after State Police launched its investigation, the state’s Dept. of Corrections announced the suspension of 13 SCI-Mahanoy employees without pay. The names of those suspended haven’t been released to the public. DOC says those suspended include “security and medical” staff at the prison.

“Whatever the outcome of this case, we are going to be as transparent as possible, and the DOC will take whatever remedial measures deemed to be necessary,” DOC Secretary John Wetzel says. Wetzel says this incident at SCI-Mahanoy “should not serve to tarnish the reputation of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections and its 16,000 dedicated men and women.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

According to reports, the head of the Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association union objects to the employees being suspended without pay since no cause has been determined.

“Reckless Use of Force on Prisoners”

Even though we’re unclear on what led to Briggs’ death, the Abolitionist Law Center seems to be pushing one theory. It already sees Briggs’ death as a product of a crooked justice system, particularly in prisons.

In its announcement supporting the Busbees, ALC Legal Director Bret Grote says, “Whether committed by a police officer or a prison guard, extrajudicial killings of Black people in this country are an epidemic. Our clients have joined a tragic community of those who have lost loved ones to state violence. We are asking our larger movement family to come together and support them in this time of grief.”

Briggs’ father, Ervin Busbee, echoed those feelings in a statement released with the ALC announcement. He says, “The lives of the inmates in there matter, they are someone’s son, daughter, father, mother, brother or uncle. They are human. Why are you painting my son as an animal? Tyrone’s life mattered.”

It’s easy to understand the Busbees sadness and apparent anger toward the prison right now. Not only are they currently without answers in the death of their son in state custody, they were getting ready to welcome him home after his apparent impending release.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Briggs died at the age of 29 but he’d been in prison since he was 16. He was serving a 15-30 year sentence for raping a child in Philadelphia. The Busbees expected Briggs to be released on parole before the end of 2019.


Subscribe to Coal Region Canary

Get email updates from Coal Region Canary by becoming a subscriber today. Just enter your email address below to get started!

News Tips?

Let us know of news happening in your area. Use our NEWS TIPS ENTRY FORM


  1. Chendo

    November 22, 2019 at 10:09 am

    I am having a hard time feeling sorry for this pillar of the community

  2. Pingback: Convicted Cop Killer Mumia Abu Jamal Claims Briggs Shot With, Choked on Pepper Gel - Coal Region Canary

    • John miller

      March 1, 2020 at 3:23 am

      I was in sci mahanoy when this took place proper procedures were not followed after being hit with phantom spray they are suppose to take you to medical to have your eyes and stuff cleaned out but they took him straight to the hole . And it’s crazy cause how the fight happened after yard ended at like 315 but he was found unresponsive a 1 hour and some minutes later . This bull . Just like they just said Raymond Torres hung himself there which is impossible to do in the rhu in a single cell . Cause that’s what he was in ask for video they have it all throughout the rhu I’m just saying we need justice for Tyrone and justice for Raymond

      • Pop

        March 2, 2020 at 12:19 am

        John Miller..please more info. Raymond is my cousin.

      • Colivesmatter

        March 2, 2020 at 2:14 am

        Dude you must truly be an idiot….i was there the day it happened! He was taken directly to medical dumbass, maybe just maybe he shouldnt have started a fight to begin with…just saying and as for hanging u truly are someone to say its impossible to do its not…know ur facts before you post dumb ass shit and lies unless u seen with ur own eyes everything then shut up and sit the hell down

        • John miller

          March 2, 2020 at 4:09 am

          Dude I worked in the rhu dude if you need to know dude

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Local News

Several Schuylkill County residents say they recently found bizarre printed messages inside packages of items purchased at local grocery stores. The Canary spoke with...

Local Weather

How much are we really going to get? Some say it's still too soon to tell.

Local Weather

Slightly more snow expected for Schuylkill County.

PA News

Flights arriving in the cover of night to NEPA.

Local News

If convicted, Hall faces up to 10 more years in prison.

Local News

  A new trial date has finally been set for Magen Hall, who faces a mandatory life sentence, if she’s found guilty of murdering...