Inmate's family seeks answers on his death

Antwan Brown, 26, of Long Beach, was killed Antwan Brown, 26, of Long Beach, was killed on Jan. 7, 2012.

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The family of an inmate killed during a fight with another prisoner at the Nassau County jail early Saturday wants to know how a fatal fight could occur in such a secure place.

"All we want is the truth," Shakeria Little, 20, of the Bronx, said of her brother's death. "What happened? How could that happen under so much supervision?"

Her brother, Antwan Brown, 26, of Long Beach, died Saturday morning after a fight with the other inmate, authorities said. The fight occurred at 6:45 a.m. and Brown was declared dead at nearby Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow about an hour later, police said.

Brown, who records show pleaded guilty Wednesday in a November 2010 assault case, had suffered "contusions about his body" in the fight, police said. No official cause of death was released Sunday.

Criminal charges are pending against the other inmate, whose identity has not been released, Sheriff Michael Sposato said Saturday. The Nassau County Sheriff's Department runs the East Meadow jail.

Brown had been incarcerated for the 2010 assault in which he was accused of beating a woman and trying to steal her bag in West Hempstead. He injured a police officer at the Fifth Precinct while under arrest, police said.

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Last week, Brown pleaded guilty to attempted assault on a police officer in that case. The other charges were covered by that plea, records show.

His aunt Asia Little, of Hempstead, said a homicide detective contacted the family Sunday to provide some information about the fight. Nassau homicide detectives could not be reached Sunday.

"We believe there was some negligence," Shakeria Little said, adding that her brother's criminal record should have no bearing on his being killed while in police custody.

"We have an idea of what's happened, but the gap is so big. His past convictions have nothing to do with what happened to him in jail."

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