Three guards at a New Jersey ladies’s jail have been charged in reference to a violent assault on inmates final month, the state’s lawyer basic announced Thursday.
On January 11, jail guards eliminated inmates from their cells and allegedly attacked them on the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in Clifton, Legal professional Basic Gurbir Grewal stated in an announcement. Greater than 20 officers have been positioned on administrative go away as officers investigated allegations of violence, a union official stated.
“Edna Mahan has a protracted, ugly historical past – one which has justifiably attracted scrutiny from county, state, and federal investigators,” Grewal stated Thursday. “We should maintain the accountable events accountable, and we should repair the systemic failures that made this incident doable.”
Luis Garcia, a correctional police officer, was charged with second-degree assault, official misconduct, and submitting a false report. Garcia’s accused of pepper-spraying an inmate, eradicating her from her cell and punching her within the face 28 instances, which resulted in critical accidents, in line with Grewal.
Garcia can be accused of falsely reporting that the inmate threw punches at his torso when he tried to restrain her. Nevertheless, Grewal stated video proof revealed she didn’t throw any punches.
Two supervisors — Sargeant Amir Bethea and Sargeant Anthony Valvano — have been each charged with official misconduct in addition to protecting up the alleged assault. Bethea supervised each the earlier assault and a separate incident the place officers allegedly punched a girl whereas eradicating her from her cell, regardless of complying with the officers’ requests, in line with Grewal. Bethea can be accused of failing to reveal the inmate’s accidents.
Valvano is accused of failing to intervene throughout the usage of pressure, whereas additionally failing to report it, Grewal stated. He additionally allegedly filed a false report saying a sufferer injured herself by banging her head into her cell, which she denies, Grewal stated.
The investigation into the January 11 incident is ongoing. Officers stated they count on to announce further prison expenses because the probe continues.
William Sullivan, president of the union representing officers on the jail, stated the union doesn’t “condone any unprofessional conduct.”
“Whereas a evaluate of the allegations lodged towards the officers are disturbing, P.B.A. #105 absolutely helps an intensive investigation being performed concerning the incidents at concern earlier than any judgments are made pertaining to the allegations or the officers charged in connection therewith,” Sullivan stated in an announcement.
Final 12 months, a Division of Justice report alleged that guards routinely sexually assaulted ladies inmates on the jail. From October 2016 to November 2019, 5 workers pled responsible to the sexual abuse of greater than 10 ladies, which prosecutors stated was enabled by a tradition that discouraged inmates from reporting abuse.