It has been two years since Rob Card died after being incarcerated at the Broome County Jail.
On Saturday evening, community members gathered at the corner of Upper Front Street and Lt. Vanwinkle Drive in Binghamton for a vigil and rally to commemorate the two-year anniversary of Card’s death.
Bill Martin, Bartle professor of sociology and founding member of Justice and Unity for the Southern Tier (JUST), spoke about the rally set out to remember Card — exemplified by the chants of “say his name” — but also celebrated the work against mass incarceration undertaken by local organizations, such as JUST, Citizen Action, Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT) and Truth Pharm.
“Rob Card lives on through these efforts, efforts to end the use of the [Broome County Jail] as the county’s de facto mental health and substance use ‘treatment center,’ to end the sad record Broome County holds for having the highest incarceration rate of any county in the state,” Martin wrote in an email.
Card was arrested and taken to the Broome County Jail for a parole violation in early 2019. He had a brain tumor and suffered from seizures as a result. On Jan. 20, 2019, Card was found unresponsive in his cell, according to a New York State Commission of Correction report obtained by Martin through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request. Card was formally declared dead on Jan. 22 at United Health Services Wilson Medical Center.
Card is one of 11 inmates to have died during their incarceration since 2011 at the Broome County Jail.