Will assaults by guards be investigated?
A report emerged on November 19 that details a number of alleged assaults on prisoners in various of Florida's jails, carried out by white prison guards who openly claim to be white supremacists.
Detailed complaints have been filed by inmates, sharing details of the assaults with Florida Department of Corrections’ Office of Inspector General. Two assaults in Jackson Correctional Institution apparently happened in plain view of surveillance cameras too - and yet in spite of this, the Inspector General has yet to investigate.
Links with the Ku Klux Klan
It's alleged by prisoners that many guards within Florida's jails are open about declaring white supremacist affiliations, intended as a means of intimidating black inmates and prison guards. There have also been confirmed reports of prison officers who are members of the Ku Klux Klan and other similar organizations.
In 2017, two Florida prison guards were apprehended by the FBI while hatching a plan to murder a black inmate.
The issue appears to have deep roots in Florida's correctional facilities.
Speaking on the issue, Democratic Florida state Rep. Dianne Hart had this to say:
“I've visited more than 50 (prison) facilities and have seen that this is a pervasive problem that is not going away. It's partly due to our political climate. But, those who work in our prisons don't seem to fear people knowing that they're white supremacists.”
A culture of overlooking complaints against prison officers?
Earlier this month, it came to light that over 2 years have passed since a female inmate in Lowell state prison in Ocala was beaten into a quadriplegic state, by inmates at the prison.
Cheryl Weimar, the victim of the assault is now out of jail on early medical release, and her lawsuit against the Department of Corrections cost taxpayers $4.6 million.
The officers who allegedly beat her, still haven’t been charged.
While there were potentially extenuating circumstances that led to the altercation in Ocala, and to the assaults in Jackson Correctional Institution, it doesn't seem to absolve authorities of investigating complaints.
Whether complaints are based on racially motivated attacks or extreme and disproportionate violence by prison guards towards inmates, they should be taken seriously and investigated - particularly where compelling evidence may exist. Whether this will result in an investigation of white supremacist guards in Florida's jails, remains to be seen.
What do you think about the way that complaints against guards in prisons seem to be overlooked? Do you feel that the issues should be investigated more thoroughly? Let me know in the comments section below.