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Federal Judge Hears NC Lawsuit Alleging Severe Prison Beatings

A federal judge has commenced hearings for a lawsuit filed on behalf of eight inmates of Central Prison in Raleigh, who say that prison guards have taken them to areas with security camera blind spots and administered sadistic beatings.

ABC News 11 reports that U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle has already told state attorneys that the prison must install cameras to cover the blind spots in areas not recorded by current security. In addition, prison officials must save security videos for at least two months, as opposed to the current practice of erasing them after around one month.

Boyle also denied state attorneys’ request to dismiss the lawsuit.

One of the plaintiffs, Jerome Peters, testified before Boyle about an incident in December 2012 that left him confined to a wheelchair for months. According to ABC, Peters entered the courtroom shackled and using a walker for support. He then described a beating that occurred while he was in solitary confinement, which fractured bones in his face and hands, and broke his right hip.

“They were stomping me with their feet and hitting me with their hands,” Peters said to ABC. The 48-year-old is currently serving a 14-year sentence for first-degree burglary.

According to the lawsuit, Peters’ off-camera beating was retaliatory, in response to a complaint he filed against a prison guard who brought him food that didn’t meet his dietary restrictions. However, attorneys for the defendant contend that Peters is a problem prisoner—alleging that he has tossed urine on a guard and tried to spit on another. Peters denies the allegations.

A total of 19 correctional officers are accused of participating in beating shackled and handcuffed inmates, out of view of security cameras. The lawsuit states that guards use “malicious and sadistic force” to beat them. In addition, former prison administrators Kenneth Lassister and Gerald Branker are accused of failing to preserve evident or develop policies to investigate inmate complaints, reports ABC.

The Raleigh personal injury attorneys at Kelly & West are experienced with handling cases that involve various types of personal injury. If you or a loved one are considering a personal injury lawsuit, contact us to discuss the details of your case today.

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