A video released on Friday (November 13) shows inmates in El Paso wearing personal protective equipment while loading bodies into refrigerated trucks.
A spokesperson for the El Paso County Sheriff confirmed to the news outlet what was captured on the video. They did not provide details into which inmates were selected, only that they were from the El Paso County Detention Facility.
The spokesperson also didn’t specify what the incarcerated people were doing at the morgue, just they were “helping them there,” according to KTSM’s report.
The news outlet previously reported that the county medical examiner has 10 mobile morgues in place to manage the pandemic overflow. The bodies being loaded into the trucks are reportedly waiting for autopsy.
El Paso County has the second highest number of coronavirus infections and currently has 31,000 active cases.
As of Friday, the outlet reported the county has 741 additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 369 deaths under investigation.
Within 48 hours of the video being reported, the county marked an additional 45 deaths.
Last Wednesday (November 11), the state of Texas surpassed one million confirmed coronavirus cases, more than any other state in the nation.
This video of the incarcerated people working in the morgue comes just after the release of a report by the University of Texas at Austin which shows 80% of incarcerated people who died of COVID-19 while imprisoned were not yet convicted of a crime.
The overcrowding, tight spaces, and delayed medical care of prisons and detention facilities has worried advocates since the onset of the pandemic about potential danger for people incarcerated, employees, and nearby communities.
Photo: Getty Images