*The family of the late legendary reggae artist Peter Tosh are demanding answers and justice after his son, 37-year-old Jawara McIntosh — also a musician and marijuana legalization activist — was left in a coma after being beaten while in the custody of the Bergen County Jail in New Jersey four months ago.
The man accused of attacking and seriously injuring McIntosh is facing an aggravated assault charge, authorities said. Meanwhile, the family of his victim is filing a civil rights lawsuit and seeking a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the incident that occurred on Feb. 21.
NPR reports that the attack resulted in “brain injuries so severe that McIntosh has been comatose ever since.” He was first hospitalized at New Jersey’s Hackensack Medical Center but was moved to a hospital in Massachusetts, where he resides.
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McIntosh’s family reportedly learned of the beating when his mother received a call from the hospital saying her son needed a “life-saving medical procedure” after being attacked at the jail. She then received a call from the jail’s warden, saying that the incident involved another inmate.
According to billboard.com, inmate Kyrie Baum “has already been indicted” for brutally beating McIntosh. Authorities have not said what sparked the attack, but they claim it lasted “less than 10 seconds and took place in a general custody housing unit.”
40-year-old Baum was being held at the jail on robbery and gun possession charges at the time.
Niambe McIntosh, Jawara’s sister, tells NPR, “We have since, upon request, got an incident report that just didn’t really give a lot of information, but it just said there was another inmate [involved]. There was very little detail as to what happened.”
The family is filing a civil rights lawsuit against the county and the jail “for failing to protect Jawara while he was in its custody, or directly participating in this brutal beating.”
They are also seeking the immediate release of additional information and evidence from the incident.
The family is being represented by attorney Jasmine Rand, who has represented the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.