Last April Terrill Thomas, a 38-year-old inmate in the Milwaukee County Jail suffering from severe mental illness, died of “profound dehydration.” He spent his last days pleading — begging — for something to drink, after the water in his cell was shut off. Corrections officers in the jail had no problem torturing him, watching him die slowly and painfully because they did not see him as human. This week Thomas’ death was ruled to be a homicide.
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It was our possession. The ball was in my hands and the score was 15-up. The game went straight to 16 because Black Rod had winners. We were 12 years old and eager to play against Rod’s 16-year-old friends. The game was ours: I just had to toss the ball down to Al in the post because he was stronger than everybody else. He could easily turn his back on a defender and push him under the rack for the easy layup.