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Feds drop probe of Fishkill inmate’s death in spat with guards

Manhattan federal prosecutors announced on Wednesday that they were dropping a two-year-old investigation of the death of inmate Samuel Harrell at Fishkill state prison following an altercation with guards.

The probe was opened by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in 2015. In a statement, his successor, acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, said there was no video of the fight, eyewitness accounts from guards and prisoners varied, and the autopsy could not clearly establish that excessive force caused his death.

The altercation began when Harrell, 30, announced he was leaving Fishkill, and mental health counselors were called. Kim said prosecutors didn’t think they could prove anyone intentionally violated his civil rights, and the Dutchess County district attorney also was not filing charges.

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