Family, friends protest over prison inmate's death
Just feet away from the Erie County Prison, a protest led by nearly 40 friends and family of Felix Manus lasted throughout the day Monday. Those protesters are demanding justice and answers.
“He was violated, his rights,” said Manus’s nephew, Leonard Roosevelt Manus-Williams. “He was violated as a human.”
Manus, 48, died Monday while on life support, nearly two weeks after suffering a severe asthma attack while on a prison work release detail. His family tells us he suffered from asthma for years, and they claim prison officials knew that.
“Any facility you go into, they look into your medical history before you go in the jail or any facility,” said Terry Manus, Felix’s older brother.
Family members want to know why more wasn't done, notably why corrections officers took Manus from the Edinboro location where they working back to the county prison, which is nearly 30 minutes away. They also want to know why the ambulance that was supposed to transport Manus from the prison to the hospital was several minutes late when Manus arrived back to the prison.
“Three numbers, 9-1-1. Why couldn't you just call 9-1-1,” said Robert Manus, Felix’s younger brother, echoing the words of the family’s attorney from an interview with Erie News Now last week.
“Either his (correction's officer) was incompetent with this or the driver didn't know his job,” Terry added. “Somebody is to blame for this right here.”
For some members of the Manus family, justice will never be reached. But for others, they want the corrections officers responsible to resign if that's what it takes.
We would like the people who were involved that were on-duty to be suspended without pay.
The big question for the family: just who will pay for Felix’s funeral? The answer, could be determined when an autopsy is performed on Wednesday.
“The justice system murdered my brother,” Terry said.