Community organizers have planned a protest this weekend in hopes of obtaining more information about how the Tuscaloosa County Jail is responding to the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

"There have been multiple COVID-19 outbreaks in the Tuscaloosa County Jail this year that have endangered the people in the jail and the surrounding community," organizers said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently sued Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy, stating Abernathy had violated the Alabama Open Records act by withholding information about COVID-19 cases within the jail.

Protest organizers believe Abernathy is deliberately concealing information about confirmed cases of COVID-19 among inmates and jail staff and are demanding the following changes:

  • Share full numbers of COVID-19 case counts
  • Release vulnerable or immunocompromised inmates who are at risk because of COVID-19 exposure
  • Reduce jail population in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus
  • Ensure jail staff and inmates have access to PPE

The protest is planned for 12 p.m. Saturday, December 19, at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse, located on Greensboro Avenue in Downtown Tuscaloosa.

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