A prison in Michigan is facing claims it tried to cover up the murder of a gay inmate.
Rodriguez Montez Burks, 23, was serving a 2-10 year prison sentence for eluding arrest when he was allegedly brutally murdered on July 20 by a fellow inmate.
Other inmates at the facility where the man was allegedly killed have claimed that staff repeatedly ignored requests for the victim and his killer to be separated before his death.
The issue between the two men was because of the victim’s sexuality, and it’s being labelled another case of systematic failure to protect LGBT+ people in the U.S.
“Old boy was like, ‘Hey I am not gonna be locked in here with a fag,’” fellow inmate Todd Wentworth told Metro Times. “And the guard was like, ‘It’s not our problem.’”
Wentworth said he heard both men make a request for new bunk assignments, but prison guards failed to accommodate them.
“This gentleman told [the guard] very clearly, ‘Look I’m gonna hurt this guy if you don’t move me out this cell,’” added inmate Edward Spear. “Burks also told [another staffer], ‘I can’t lock with this guy; we’re having issues, we can’t do this.’”
Wentworth claimed that he heard a commotion around 11:40am. He believes that Burks was strangled before being pronounced dead at 2pm the same day.
In response to the claims from inmates, a spokesperson for the facility said that “every aspect of the incident would be investigated”.