“All I want is justice for my dad,” Michael Toler Sr.’s daughter Talitha Toler said.
Weeks after Toler was killed in the Bay County prison, his family held his funeral service on Saturday.
“Check on your people, check on your people,” Toler said.
Toler’s family heard he was stabbed by a prisoner, through another inmate from their neighborhood.
The family said they haven’t heard anything about Toler’s death from the state or MTC (Management & Training Corporation), the company which runs the correctional facility.
“They didn’t even notify us,” Toler’s sister Latanya Murphy Toler said.
Toler’s family said they reached out to the Bay Correctional Facility after hearing about the 60-year-olds death. They said prison officials were shocked they knew Toler had died.
“They asked us how did we know about it,” Murphy Toler said. “She turned us down at first and then say, you don’t know what you’re talking about. And then when we called back again, she asked us how we knew about it instead of saying, we were working on it. They said ‘how you know about it.'”
The Bay Correctional Facility did not respond to our request for an interview. We also emailed the Florida Department of Corrections and received a response from Florida’s Department of Management Services.
They said they would not release information about the death because of an exemption in Florida Public Records law. Eventually, the Department of Management Services Communications director provided a statement confirming an inmate died at the prison.
“They haven’t mentioned anything. Nothing about his death or anything,” Toler said.
News 13 received reports the facility is understaffed. Toler’s family believes that created an environment leading to the stabbing of Toler.
“It was in the daytime that shouldn’t have happened,” Murphy Toler said. “They should have been there.”
The Florida Department of Corrections provided a statement after News 13 reported Toler’s death:
“The incident you are referring to is currently under investigation by the Office of the Inspector General,” wrote Paul Walker, the press secretary for the Florida Department of Corrections. “Due to the open, active investigation information is limited at this time. Once the investigation is complete, more information will be available to the public. Feel free to check back periodically for updates.”
But the statement did not answer questions about the staffing or safety of the facility.
“They’re not correcting any action,” Murphy Toler said. “They’re not getting no mental health or evaluations to help them.”
Toler was convicted of stealing $3,000 worth of lawn tools in 2019. He would have been released in 2024.