Attorney: Family of Slain Correctional Officer Demands Answers, - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Attorney: Family of Slain Correctional Officer Demands Answers, Justice

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Sgt. Steven Floyd Sgt. Steven Floyd

DOVER, Del. -- The attorney representing the family of Steven Floyd, the correctional officer who died last month during a hostage situation at the Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, said on Monday the family is demanding answers about how he died and threatened legal action in federal court if more information isn't provided.

Thomas Neuberger, who is among a team of lawyers representing Floyd's estate and family along with five staff members who were either in the prison during the hostage situation or taken captive by inmates, said the family still has not been told privately how Floyd died, close to five weeks after the Feb. 1 incident.

"To force them, months from now, when an autopsy is finally made public, to rip their wounds open again is cruel and inhumane," he said.

State police have only said Floyd's cause of death was ruled as homicide by trauma but no updates have been provided since the incident. The Delaware Department of Justice is also conducting an investigation of the matter and two retired judges will also conduct an independent review of the uprising and make recommendations on preventing similar situations in the future.

Neuberger said he has sent a "petition for justice" to Gov. John Carney that asks for Carney to not only ensure the state's criminal investigation brings the suspects and conspirators involved in Floyd's death and the hostage situation to justice but also to increase efforts to address long term problems at Delaware prisons.

"Without an adequate reply, we will see all the responsible parties in federal court after 30 days have elapsed," he said. "Simple justice demands no less."

Carney's office said in statement that the governor would not comment on potential litigation but described Floyd as a dedicated officer and served with distinction.

Floyd was found dead after law enforcement stormed the prison on Feb. 2. He was held captive along with two other correctional officers and a counselor, though many details about the incident remain unknown.

Neuberger claimed in a statement attached to the petition that he had attempted to speak privately with Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn about proceeding forward with the cases involving his 10 clients.

"Unfortunately, he ignored my reasonable request and the State apparently has assumed a hard litigation posture regarding my clients, with a 'see you in court' attitude," he said.

However, Carl Kanefsky, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Justice said the agency received an email from Neuberger that said the attorney was representing the Floyd family and intended to sue the state.

"DOJ promptly responded to Mr. Neuberger in writing informing him that it would discuss his allegations and theories of liability with the state agencies he indicated that he intended to sue," he said.

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