First board meeting since protests at Wyatt Detention Facility
By Brittany Comak
CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. - Questions on ICE detainees during public comment at a Monday night meeting for the Wyatt Detention Facility's Board of Directors, were mostly met with silence.
Less than a week after a protest outside the Wyatt over its holding of ICE detainees, the public questioned the board Monday on whether or not the rights of those detainees are being protected.
"I also want to see every detainee that is here treated fairly, respectfully," said Former Central Falls Mayor Thomas Lazieh. "While they are in the United States, they should be treated fairly and equitably."
Dreamer Rodrigo Pimentel asked the board during his public comment time if the detainees have access to legal representation, but wasn't given an answer.
"The board is accountable to the public," said Pimentel after the meeting. "Unfortunately the board did not answer those questions tonight."
Lazieh said he believes the prison should remain open, but echoed the frustration with the lack of information being made public.
"I'm concerned at your operation. I'm concerned at the board. I've tried to attend all of the meetings. I've asked in the past that I be notified when you have meetings and unfortunately I have not been," he said.
Board members declined to go on camera to respond to the protests, or the questions asked at Monday's meeting.
The board's legal counsel William O'Gara said it was 'not his role' to respond.
According to Major Gregory Richard, out of the almost 700 prisoners at Wyatt, 139 are ICE detainees.
©WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019