More than a decade after two mentally impaired men, Daniel McDonnell and Dainell Simmons, died in police custody in Suffolk County, a Newsday investigation has uncovered faulty investigative work and efforts to cover up the Police Department’s role in their deaths, Paul LaRocco and David M. Schwartz report. The Suffolk County Police Department and District Attorney’s office conducted the flawed homicide investigations, which found both men stopped breathing after officers provoked confrontations and then fought to restrain each man for transportation to hospitals. Officers pressed them to the floor in positions that had a high risk of suffocation.
McDonnell’s widow, Danielle McDonnell, told Newsday the family is still suffering from the botched investigation: “No one was punished. No one was demoted. No one was even suspended for a week,” McDonnell said. “Nothing happened. No one was told to go and take a class on how to deal with mentally ill people. Nothing, nothing happened.”