IAma former employee of a jail where I watched inmates be beat for fun. I was fired for reporting it, and have spent the last decade of my life testifying for those inmates. I did an AMA before, but couldn't say what really needed to be said. I'm ...
Original text from the 1st AMA:
I saw horrific beatings happen almost every day. I saw inmates being beat senseless for not moving fast enough. I saw inmates urinate on themselves because they had been chained up for hours and officers refused to let them use the bathroom. This didn't happen because they were busy, this happened because it was fun. I saw an old man be beat bad enough to be taken to the hospital because he didn't respond to a verbal order RIGHT AFTER he took out his hearing aids (which he was ordered to do.)
I was fired after I caught the beating of a triple amputee (you read that right!) on video, and I got 7 officers fired for brutality. Don't believe me? here's a still from the video. This is one second of over 14 minutes of this poor man being beaten with a mop handle, kicked, punched and thrown around. As you can see in the video, he is down in the left hand corner, naked and cowering while being sprayed with pepper spray.http://imgur.com/I8eeq
After I was fired, I sued the Sheriff's Office and the Board of County Commissioners and I settled the night before trial. I consider every penny that I got blood money, but I did get a letter of recommendation hand signed by the sheriff himself, and I FLAT OUT REFUSED to sign a non disclosure agreement. One of my biggest regrets in life is not taking that case to trial, but I just emotionally couldn't do it. I also regret not going to the press immediately with what I had as it happened. I want someone to finally listen about what goes on in that jail. Instead of going to the press, I decided to speak with attorneys and help inmates who were beaten and murdered by detention officers in the jail. In the last 5 years I have been deposed twice and I have been flown across the planet 3 times to be deposed or to testify in cases against the Sheriff. I have also been consulted by 4 or 5 other attorneys with cases against the Sheriff. Every single time my name has been brought up (with 1 exception) the case has settled within a few months at the most. The record is 2 weeks. Some of those have gag orders on them or are sealed, so I can't discuss the ones that are under an order like that, but not all of them are like that. Let's talk about the two most recent cases I have been involved in: Christopher Beckman was an inmate. He was brought in on a DUI or something like that, he wasn't a career criminal, he was a guy like you, or your buddy, or your dad who fucked up and did something stupid while drunk. He had a seizure in the jail because he was epileptic and didn't get his medications. During this seizure he was hog tied, and ran HEAD FIRST into a 2" thick steel door, concrete walls and elevator doors. His skull was crushed and he died a few days later. I was deposed in his case and very soon afterward the family settled for an "undisclosed" amount of money other than the 1mil, and I promise you this..... they didn't get enough. The officers that did that to them? One of them pled out for a year in jail, the other got nothing. http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=14&articleid=20110606_12_0_OLHMIY608751 Dionne McKinney: She is the toughest woman on this planet. She fought for 9 and 1/2 years to take the sheriff to trial and she did it. NO ONE takes the Sheriff to trial in OK county and wins. It hasn't happened in a civil case since the 1970's (from what I understand) She was brutally beaten in the Jail in May of 2003. I testified in this case earlier this month.http://newsok.com/jury-finds-in-favor-of-woman-who-says-oklahoma-county-jail-detention-officers-assaulted-her-nearly-10-years-ago/article/3738355 Why do I live so far away? I fear for my life. I left oklahoma in march of 2010 after I turned over every piece of evidence that I had to the feds. When I have been flown in, I have been in and out in 2 days for depositions, but for the trial, I had to be there for almost a week. I spent 4 days barricaded in my best friends' house. When I left my family in OK after testifying a few weeks ago, I knew that I'd never be able to see them in Oklahoma again and flights to me are not cheap. Here is an absolutely scathing report from the department of justice about the Oklahoma County Jail in 2008. http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/documents/OKCounty_Jail_findlet_073108.pdf
I did an great interview with the Moral Courage Project, and the last case I agreed to be involved with, won at jury trial! I'm ecstatic!
Now I can talk about the REAL problems going on, the thin blue line, or any other questions you may have.
Link to the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48QxwrZp4ZE
I was directly involved in 5 cases, and in all 5 of those cases, the case ended in favor of the plaintiff. I think it may be safe to say that the courts may agree with me at this point, and now all I need is for someone to listen to what goes on in jail.
Here's a link to sign the petition to force ALL Law enforcement officers to wear cameras. This would be a great step in the right direction. Please sign and share.
EDIT 3: Thank you to everyone who has responded! I've been given some great advice and encouragement!
I am being bombarded with messages telling me that vice.com is the place to go to get this out to the right people, so all that I ask of you guys is to send them a quick email asking them to cover this, I want the abuse of inmates to stop, and the only way to do that is to get the right people's attention, so please help out, should you feel so inclined!
Thanks for all of the support again! I have faith in humanity tonight!