Nigerian Man Dies in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in Maryland

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A Nigerian man, Anthony Oluseye Akinyemi in the custody of U.S. Immigration and

Enforcement at the Worcester County Jail in Snow Hill, Maryland, died of suspected

suicide on Saturday morning at the facility.

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The 56-year-old man was pronounced dead at 5:23 a.m. local time on December 21,

2019, early on Saturday morning after officials at the Immigration detention center

found him unresponsive in his cell.

Efforts by facility staff and emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful.

ICE in a statement published on its website said, “The preliminary cause of death

appears to be self-inflicted strangulation; however, the case is currently under

investigation. Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate agencies have

been notified about the death, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Office

of Inspector General, and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.

The statement continues “Additionally, ICE has notified the Nigerian consulate and Mr.

Akinyemi’s next of kin.

“ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is

undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such

cases.

“Fatalities in ICE custody, statistically, are exceedingly rare and occur at a fraction of

the national average for the U.S. detained population.

“This agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership to

include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Professional Responsibility

and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.”

ICE said Akinyemi had been in their custody for less than 24 hours before his alleged

suicide and was in removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts for

failing to abide by the terms of his December 2017 nonimmigrant visa issued to him.

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Akinyemi is at least the eighth person to die in ICE custody in 2019. He was convicted

last week in Baltimore City circuit court for a sex offense and assault of a minor in

Baltimore.

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