by Irvin Muchnick
The state senator in the late Braeden Bradforth’s 11th district in New Jersey has asked the attorney general of Kansas to investigate the 19-year-old football player’s death last August after football practice at Garden City Community College.
In a letter dated January 27, Senator Van Gopal wrote to Derek Schmidt, the attorney general, that “an independent investigation” is needed into Bradforth’s exertional heat stroke death “and the professional practices of the Garden City Community College Athletics Department. This matter needs the force, authority, and expertise that only the Kansas Attorney General’s Office can provide. Braeden’s death was entirely preventable. Not only does Braeden and his family deserve justice, but every athlete attending Garden City Community College deserves to know that the school’s leadership will put the health and safety of its students before all else. Please set the precedent for other institutions as well. Show them that you will not tolerate these inhumane behaviors towards athletes, nor will you let this fly under the radar as many other cases across the country have.”
Addressing the college’s announced internal review of the incident, Senator Gopal said: “There is no knowledge as to who is conducting or overseeing this investigation. We do not know what the focus of the investigation is or whose testimony will be included. We do not know when the investigation is expected to conclude and, frankly, we are not confident that the results of this investigation will be made public. We are further dismayed by the fact that neither the Garden City Police Department, the Garden City College Police, or any other law enforcement body has conducted any sort of investigation into Braeden’s death.”
(Wichita television station KWCH reported that the “internal review” was completed yesterday and forwarded to the college’s legal office.)
A facsimile of Gopal’s letter to Schmidt is viewable at http://muchnick.net/gopal.pdf.
DEATH OF BRAEDEN BRADFORTH — CHRONOLOGICAL HEADLINE LINKS