Four Alabama correctional officers were charged Tuesday with beating a prisoner on the ground or making false reports, federal prosecutors said.
Sergey. Keith Finch and the Corrections Officers and Jordan Thomas and Kevin Blaylock are charged with disqualifying under the law in a 2018 incident at the Bibb Correctional Facility in Brent, about 40 miles southwest of Birmingham.
Thomas and Sergeant. Orlando Walker is also accused of obstructing justice for allegedly making false reports, claiming that once a prisoner was on the ground “all forces have stopped,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
In fact, Thomas, Finch and Blaylock allegedly “beat the prisoner and beat him several times with truncheons”; after he was on the ground and surrounded, according to the Ministry of Justice.
Walker is not accused of assaulting a prisoner, but Thomas’ boss and authorities say they have given false reports.
Federal court records of correctional officers were not online Tuesday night, and it was unclear whether they had lawyers who could speak on their behalf.
The federal jury’s charges were returned less than a week after the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division released the results of an investigation that “found reasonable grounds to believe that there is a prison in Alabama prisons for men of excessive strength.”
In a 28-page report released Thursday, investigators argued that correctional workers were often unable to properly document or report the use of force.
It describes an incident in the Bibb Correctional Facility, when a prisoner suffered fractures of both arms after being hit by a relay.
The report of the incident mentions that the prisoner goes to the medical institution, “but in general there is no recorded degree of injuries,” the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.
It is unclear whether the allegations announced on Tuesday were related to the incident reported. According to the report, the correctional facilities have more than 1,800 prisoners. The Ministry of Justice’s investigation into the conditions in 13 men’s prisons began in 2016.
In the incident that led to the indictment on Tuesday, a prisoner, who was not identified in the news release, ran out of his cell on September 12, 2018, and his two officers were taken to the ground and taken prisoner on the spot. surrounded.
Thomas, Finch and Blaylock allegedly kicked and beat him with batons while he was on the ground, according to the Ministry of Justice.
Requests for comments from the Alabama Department of Corrections and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama were not returned Tuesday night.
Finch, Thomas and Blaylock face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, and Thomas and Walker face up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted of obstruction of justice, the agency said.