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News10NBC Investigates: Why did Luis Minllety die?

June 28, 2018 06:43 PM

If a camera was inside a Rochester group home last December, a mother might now have answers as to how and why her son died. 

For the past week, News10NBC has been investigating the death of Luis Minletty. We started asking questions when his mother and her lawyer contacted us for help. 

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Minllety died inside his group home just before Christmas. The home is operated by the Ibero-American Action League. There is no visual record of what happened inside the room where he died. 

Assemblyman Tom Abananti, NYS Assembly, Westchester Co. NY: "So we need to have an unbiased, unprejudiced machine if you will that records what happens."

New York State Assemblyman Tom Abananti sponsors a bill to put cameras inside the common area of every group home regulated by the state. 

Assemblyman Tom Abananti, NYS Assembly, Westchester Co. NY: "We need them for the protection of people who cannot themselves report what happened because they're non-verbal."
   
John Drexelius, DDAWNY government affairs rep: "Cameras in group homes imposed by government is a bad idea."

John Drexelius lobbies for the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York which represents more than 55 group homes. The home Luis Minllety was in is not one of them. 

But Drexelius is specifically fighting against the camera idea. 

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "Wouldn't cameras in the common areas of these homes help explain what happened to residents who died?" 

John Drexelius, DDAWNY government affairs rep: "Yes, absolutely. But because of the 4th Amendment, you can't surveil on a 24-7 basis without consent, anybody. That is fundamental constitutional law." 

Rochester Police are investigating Minllety's death. His mother is desperate to know why he died. 

Mildred Gonzalez, Luis Minllety's mother: "I asked God to help me find out what happened. I don't want to let it go. I don't want this to happen to other kids." 
    
The assemblyman's camera bill never got a vote this year in the Legislature but it is still active. Monroe County and Rochester police will not release the cause of Luis Minllety's death to News10NBC because they say New York State law considers it confidential. 

Watch this story to find out why

Credits

Berkeley Brean

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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