Where is the timeline?Smith Calls College's Summary Woefully Inadequate
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) issued the following statement on the release of a summary of an internal review by Garden City Community College of the death of Braeden Bradforth:
The summary of the grossly inadequate and incomplete internal review lacks answers to key questions about the events of August 1 that, nine months later, still need to be answered.
The family deserves the basic facts of Braeden’s death. This is a summary of what? A young man is dead and we still don’t know how or why he died. The summary raises more questions than it answers.
Where are the notes of the interviews with players, coaches, and training staff? Where are the witness statements? Are we supposed to accept that there is no relevant surveillance video footage from GCCC on August 1st anywhere?
Can the tragic death of a 19-year old be explained by a summary in a few paragraphs? No.
Now, more than ever, we need a thorough, external, independent investigation into Braeden’s death, as well as a review of the school’s policies and protocols for student-athlete health and safety and emergency action plan, to determine an exact, detailed timeline of the evening of Braeden’s death and to ensure that such a preventable tragedy will never happen again.
Published media reports indicate that water may have been withheld from players. Saying there was water nearby doesn’t answer that claim. It only furthers the concern.
Was Braeden exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke—such as disorientation? If so, was he immediately tended to by the trainers and given cold water immersion, which is one of the best practices for treating heat stroke?
An independent investigation would help ensure full transparency and resolve inconsistencies in the summary, such as Coach Young saying that Braeden told him he was “good” when leaving the practice field and shaking his head when asked if he was quitting—when the coroner’s report noted that, after practice, Braeden walked off the practice field and refused to answer an athletic trainer.
What is the “summary” hiding? Why is the college afraid of an external investigation that can shed light on this case and likely protect others in the future? What is a student’s life worth at GCCC? The summary is woefully inadequate.