Sorry we ignored you while you almost died in that DEA cell

Justice Department report says several employees saw or heard Daniel Chong during his ordeal

Remember that guy who was locked up and abandoned in a Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell for five days? According to a Department of Justice investigation, several DEA employees saw or heard Daniel Chong in his cell, but did nothing because they assumed someone else was responsible for him.

Four DEA Agents Saw Or Heard Daniel Chong, Student Abandoned For Days In Cell

Chong, then 23, was taken into custody during a DEA raid in April 2012, placed in a cell, then promptly forgotten. He was handcuffed behind his back, locked up for five days without food or water (or access to a toilet), and later found delirious, dehydrated and suicidal. He was never charged with a crime.

Chong later won $4.1 million in a legal claim against DEA. The report from the Department of Justice, released this week, says that four employees encountered Chong -- probably in various stages of desperation and shitting himself -- and basically said, "not my problem."

The Justice Department's inspector general faulted several DEA employees for their handling of the April 2012 incident that left Daniel Chong in grave physical health, cost the agency a $4.1 million settlement and led to nationwide changes in the agency's detention policies.

The employees told investigators they found nothing unusual in their encounters with Chong and assumed whoever put him in the cell would return for him shortly. Chong, then 23, ingested methamphetamine, drank his own urine to survive and cut himself with broken glasses while he was held.

A three-page summary of the investigation does not say when the four employees encountered Chong or what they heard or saw, and the DEA wouldn't elaborate. The agency declined to say if any employees faced consequences, calling it an "ongoing internal disciplinary matter."

The report also faulted DEA management for launching an investigation into the incident on its own, using at least two agents who were involved in the neglect of Chong and therefore had a direct conflict of interest. Bottom line, this was a serious, massive f*ck up on multiple levels.

More here: Report: 4 DEA agents saw Chong in cell

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