Corrections Officer Used Handcuffs As Brass Knuckles To Beat Inmate, Prosecutors Say

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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Two former prison officials accused of depriving inmates of their civil rights and using excessive force against prisoners at a Georgia facility were indicted on four charges Friday, the Department of Justice announced.

Former supervisory correctional officer Sergeant Patrick Sharpe, 29, and former correctional officer Jamal Scott, 33, are charged with conspiring to assault inmates at the Valdosta State Prison in Macon, Georgia, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Sharpe is accused of wrapping handcuffs around his fist to hit an inmate in the face and head on Sept. 24, 2018, according to the DOJ.

Sharpe then allegedly lied to FBI Special Agents about his behavior during this incident on July 30, 2020, according to the indictment. He said he did not hit the inmate, and that the inmate received the injuries from landing on his head when he was taken down for being “irate and noncompliant.”

Sharpe is also accused of directing Scott and another officer, Brian Ford, to assault another inmate who was handcuffed and compliant while out of view of security cameras on Dec. 29, 2018, according to the DOJ. The assault was “punishment” for the inmate’s “earlier interaction with a female correctional officer that the defendants believed was inappropriate,” according to the indictment.

“Scott and Ford struck [the inmate] multiple times in the body, resulting in bodily injury,” according to the DOJ. Sharpe told the officers to avoid hitting the inmate’s face and then and watched as the officers assaulted the inmate, according to the indictment. (RELATED: Prisoners Have Died Due To Inadequate Mental Health Services In Massachusetts Prisons, DOJ Finds)

Scott and Sharpe face a maximum of 10 years in prison for deprivation of rights and conspiracy offenses and Sharpe faces an additional five years for making false statements, according to the DOJ. Ford pleaded guilty to depriving the inmate of his civil rights on Nov. 9, 2020.

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