(TMU) — The apparent “suicide” of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein continues to stun the nation.
Law enforcement officials told the New York Post on Sunday that there is no surveillance video of Epstein’s alleged “suicide” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan.
While there are cameras in the 9 South wing where Epstein was being held, sources familiar with the layout of the MCC said that they are aimed at areas outside of the cells—not inside.
Former US Attorney Preet Bharara disagreed, tweeting “There should be — and almost certainly is — video of Epstein’s suicide at MCC. One hopes it is complete, conclusive, and secured.”
There should be — and almost certainly is — video of Epstein’s suicide at MCC. One hopes it is complete, conclusive, and secured.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) August 10, 2019
Meanwhile, the two prison guards who failed to monitor Epstein during his suspicious death had reportedly been working “extreme” overtime shifts amid a staffing shortage at the MCC. Sources told Reuters that the guards had violated normal procedure by failing to check on Epstein every 30 minutes on the night of his death, whether or not Epstein was still on suicide watch. They also violated normal procedure by leaving the convicted pedophile alone without a cellmate.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has toured the MCC, found it “very difficult to understand how something like this could have happened.”
“My understanding is that he should have been on suicide watch and the people on suicide watch are placed in a type of jumpsuit that wouldn’t allow them to hurt themselves or others,” James said.
Former chief of internal affairs for the Bureau of Prisons, Bob Hood, told the New York Times that it was “beyond me” why Epstein was taken off a 24/7 suicide watch after the July 23 incident. “A man is dead. The Bureau of Prisons dropped the ball. Period,” said Hood.
A former inmate at the MCC told the New York Post on Saturday that it would’ve been impossible for Epstein to have killed himself. “There’s no way that man could have killed himself. I’ve done too much time in those units. It’s an impossibility,” said the anonymous former inmate. “Between the floor and the ceiling is like eight or nine feet. There’s no way for you to connect to anything.”
“But it’s my firm belief that Jeffrey Epstein did not commit suicide. It just didn’t happen,” he concluded.
An autopsy was conducted on Sunday, overseen by the FBI, in an isolated room in the Manhattan branch of the Medical Examiner’s Office, but the cause and manner of Epstein’s death “is pending further information at this time,” according to a statement from New York City Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson. The FBI and the Justice Department have both opened up investigations into Epstein’s death.
A determination of the cause and manner of Epstein’s death will likely come by early next week, sources told the New York Post.