An alleged rioter charged for his involvement in the U.S. Capitol breach earlier this year has argued jail guards have assaulted inmates kept at the Washington D.C. correctional center.
“Myself and others involved in the Jan. 6 incident are scared for their lives, not from each other but from correctional officers,” Ronald Sandlin said Tuesday as he appeared before a federal court in order to argue for his pretrial release, Politico reported.
“I don’t understand how this is remotely acceptable,” he said.
During the hearing, Sandlin alleged jail guards have used both physical violence and verbal abuse against multiple inmates, with at least one prisoner getting severely beaten by correctional officers to the point of blindness, a skull fracture, as well as a detached retina.
The D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility is currently housing about 40 suspects accused of taking part in the Jan. 6 incident.
A spokesperson for the facility, as well as the FBI, have said they are aware of the allegations made by Sandlin and have placed the case under federal investigation.
“The Department of Corrections takes the safety and well-being of all residents, staff, and contractors extremely seriously,” a spokesperson for the department said in an email statement to Politico. “We are aware of the allegation made by an inmate and it is under investigation by the Department of Justice.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to Sandlin’s attorney, Jerry Ray Smith Jr., but he did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the allegations made by his client.
Sandlin was arrested in Las Vegas on Jan. 28 after a Washington D.C. court issued a warrant charging him with multiple felony counts—obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, resisting arrest, impeding, physical violence, as well as entering and remaining in a restricted building without authority.
He was spotted by investigators who received an anonymous tip in videos and pictures on social media inside the Capitol building, emotionally stating: “we did it,” according to a criminal complaint (pdf).
“We breached the building, we breached the building, into our Capitol,” Sandlin was heard saying in another video.
In surveillance footage obtained from the incident, Sandlin was seen in a shoving match with U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) while attempting to wrestle through a door guarded by USCP. He was later also seen trying to rip the helmet off of a USCP officer.
During Tuesday’s hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich set another court arraignment for Sandlin on Thursday for his possible release from custody after arguing pretrial release.