Protest planned over failure to release info about COVID19 in the Tuscaloosa County Jail

Tuscaloosa Co. planned protest over COVID-19 data

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A group plans to protest the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department Saturday. They’re concerned the department is not being transparent when it comes to coronavirus in the Tuscaloosa County Jail.

There were eight active coronavirus cases in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Friday according to Sheriff Ron Abernathy.

A spokesperson for a group of concerned citizens in Tuscaloosa County said they plan to protest in front of the Tuscaloosa County courthouse. They’re upset the Sheriff’s Office has not released information requested by the Southern Poverty Law Center in May, about the spread of coronavirus inside the Tuscaloosa County Jail. The SPLC filed a lawsuit in November to compel the department to follow the Alabama Open Records Act and release more information about those cases and what’s being done to protect inmates and jail personnel from corornavirus.

“We don’t know the full extent to which the jail, as a hot spot, is not just dangerous for people in the jail, but people coming out of the jail,” Mike Altman told WBRC.

There have been at least 156 cases of coronavirus in the jail since March, but no one has died from it. That protest is set for noon in front of the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse.

Sheriff Abernathy said the information the SPLC asked for has been collected and is being reviewed before it can be released to them.

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