4 Ala. COs indicted for allegedly using excessive force against inmate

The indictment alleges that the COs used excessive force to punish an inmate who ran out of his cell at the Bibb Correctional Facility

By Howard Koplowitz
Alabama Media Group

BRENT, Ala. — Four Alabama corrections officer were indicted by a federal grand jury Tuesday for allegedly using excessive force against a prisoner who ran out of his cell in a state prison, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sgt. Keith Finch and State Corrections Officers Jordan Thomas and Kevin Blaylock were indicted on charges or deprivation of rights under color of law in connection with the alleged excessive force while Thomas and Sgt. Orlanda Walker were charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to cover up the incident.

Two corrections officers at Bibb Correctional Facility subdued the prisoner to the ground, and while curled up in the fetal position, was surrounded by multiple officers, DOJ said.

Finch, Thomas and Blaylock allegedly kicked the unnamed prisoner and hit him multiple times with their batons. The prisoner was injured from the use of force, DOJ said.

Thomas and Walker, his supervisor, allegedly obstructed justice by filing false reports that claimed the force stopped once the prisoner was on the ground.

If convicted, Finch, Thomas and Blaylock face up to 10 years in prison on the civil rights charges. Thomas and Walker face up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction charges. The four officers also face up to three years of supervised release and a maximum $250,000 fine.

The indictments against the officers comes days after the DOJ released a report showing there was “reasonable cause” that excessive force against prisoners in Alabama’s prison system likely violates the inmates’ constitutional rights. DOJ began investigating the state prison system in 2016.


©2020 Alabama Media Group, Birmingham

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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