‘His Death Has to Mean Something’: Sister of Inmate Allegedly Beaten to Death at Santa Clara County Jail Speaks Out

The sister of the man allegedly beaten to death by correctional deputies in Santa Clara County Jail came to the Bay Area Tuesday to claim her brother's remains.

Michael Tyree was dead found in his cell on Aug. 27 and three correctional officers have been arrested and charged with murder.

The inmate was supposed to be moved to a mental health program before he was found in his cell beaten to death. His sister said if those responsible thought her brother was an insignificant, forgotten man they were wrong.

"He was loved," sister Shannon Tyree said. "He was part of a family."

Attorney Paula Canny accompanied Shannon Tyree during her Bay Area visit.

"He still had a family who loved him," Canny said. "Sisters who loved him. Aunts who loved him. Cousins who loved him. The officers seriously misunderstood who Michael is."

Shannon Tyree wants more safety for mentally ill inmates.

"They can't be left to people who don't know how to handle them," she said.

Shannon Tyree supports the new mental health training for officers, but is skeptical it would have made a difference in her brother's case.

"I don't know what kind of training they need to not beat somebody," she said. "I mean, what kind of training do you need?"

Deputies Matthew Farris, Jereh Lubrin and Rafael Rodriguez are scheduled to return to court on Oct. 13. A judge on Friday set bail at $1.5 million for each of the three correctional deputies.

For the Tyree family, there is a bottom line.

"His death has to mean something, it has to mean something," Shannon Tyree said. "What would it take for that to happen? That this never happens again?"

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