Put aside for a moment the stories about absentee ballots and campaign finance reports and read this unbelievable investigation by Bloomberg into the abuse of patients and residents at Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation.
Residents at the Florida Institute have often been abused, neglected and confined, according to 20 current and former patients and their family members, criminal charges, civil complaints and advocates for the disabled.
These sources and over 2,000 pages of court and medical records, police reports, state investigations and autopsies contain an untold history of violence and death at the secluded institute known as FINR, which is located amid cattle ranches and citrus groves in Hardee County, 50 miles southeast of Tampa.
Patients’ families or state agencies have alleged abuse or care lapses in at least five residents’ deaths since 1998, two of them in the last 18 months. Three former employees face criminal charges of abusing FINR patients — one of whom was allegedly hit repeatedly for two hours in a TV room last September.
This is a heartbreaking story, especially if you watch the undercover videos of the abuse. It will leave you shaking your head — and your fists, all while you wonder why this story has not been covered by a media outlet in Florida.