The edited footage shows correctional officers extracting inmates from their cells, physically immobilizing inmates, beating inmates and deploying pepper spray in closed-door cells. The images were first made public through open requests for recordings made by the Associated Press and other parties.
EMCF correctional officers were accused in the report of mistreating inmates on the night of January 11 when inmates were removed from cells after allegedly “splashing” correctional officers with bodily fluids and other unidentified fluids. The governor said that in light of the report’s findings, the “only way forward is to responsibly shut down the facility.”
“Upon first learning about the incident on January 11 at the Edna Mahan Women’s Correctional Facility, the Department took swift action to suspend 34 staff members and immediately requested assistance from the Attorney General’s Office and the Bureau. of the prosecutor to investigate the conduct of potential criminals. prosecution, ”DOC spokeswoman Liz Velez told CNN last month.
What the video shows
In an edited 95-minute video obtained by CNN, several officers in riot gear are seen entering the cell of a woman, whose face is blurred. They spray her with pepper spray and one of them starts hitting and yelling at her as she seems to be trying to cover her head and face.
The video appears to be from a body-worn camera and security cameras.
The woman coughs during the encounter and screams. You can hear him at one point say, “Are you done hitting me in the face like that?” And do you like it? “
Five officers are seen dragging her from her cell into a hallway full of other officers, and one officer is heard saying, “You’re going to walk like a normal human being, do you understand?”
They take her to a medical area where she tells a woman who is not visible: “They broke my lip. They hit me in the face. They hit me in the chest. They hit me for no reason. I do not know why. I have just been assaulted. I was sleeping ; they (…) came to my room and attacked me. “
The video also shows other inmates being pepper sprayed and punched before being released from their cells. One inmate’s arm was broken, according to the report.
Officers indicted in the incident
Several correctional officers are accused of submitting false reports about what happened that night, including one who said the victim punched him in the chest, a claim that is not substantiated by video evidence at the scene, according to the attorney general’s office.
The incident is just one of many reported at the facility.
The DOJ wrote that the facility “does not protect victims who report abuse with excuse from retaliation,” subjects those who report sexual abuse to “harsh and segregated conditions,” and that officials The facility knew about the abuse and ignored it, among other results.
Earlier this year, a transgender woman was placed in a men’s prison after filing a complaint alleging abuse at the facility. She was transferred to an out-of-state women’s facility, according to her lawyer.
The woman had filed a complaint in March, alleging that she was one of many inmates attacked by correctional officers at the facility earlier this year, including the Jan. 11 incident.
The incident in early January sparked a joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Office for Public Integrity and Accountability and the Hunterdon County District Attorney’s Office, according to the Attorney General’s Office. Murphy said he was “sickened by the horrific reports”, and he ordered a full independent investigation by the former state comptroller.
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