It’s been a long, painful year for two Beckley women, whose loved one died in Southern Regional Jail custody after allegedly being handcuffed, assaulted and beaten by corrections officers there.
Quantez Burks’ mother, Kimberly and his fiancée Latasha Williams are fighting for both justice and answers for the 37-year-old.
“We still have not heard from anybody with Homeland Security, Jeff Sandy, we haven’t heard from him, the medical examiner’s office — we haven’t heard from them, the correction officers at the SRJ, we haven’t heard from them; we haven’t heard from anybody,” Kimberly Burks said.
Though conspiracy charges have been leveled against guards Andrew Fleshman and Steven Nicholas Wimmer, Kimberly says this is just the beginning and she wants to see all the parties that caused her son’s death to go to jail, starting with Sandy and former Southern Regional Jail superintendent Michael Francis.
“I want him to be held accountable for not stepping up and helping these inmates who have been brutally beaten, starved, no medical. There’s mold, no running water, people sleeping on the floors,” said Burks. “I want Jim Justice to answer for not pushing the issue about what’s going on. He’s giving money for things to cover up the jail to make it seem like everything’s going fine when it’s not.”
When it comes to justice for her beloved, Latasha says accountability is everything.
“From answering the phone to opening the door, and anywhere in between; everybody has to pay,” Williams said.
According to Burks, the COs don’t have proper training, the jail needs a whole new staff, and when it comes down to it– they really need to just shut the place down.
“They’ve been paid off and swept away. With my son I’ve made a vow… that I will never go away,” Burks said. “I will continue to fight and ask for answers for as long as it takes because they’re not sweeping him under the rug. We’re not settling for no dollars because it can’t bring him back.”
The loss of Quantez is a devastating blow to the family and they miss him terribly.
“But we know he wouldn’t want us to give up,” said Williams. “We know he would want us to fight and make sure he got justice and make sure everything was alright.”