Former Federal Prison Officers Given Jailtime for Assaulting Inmates at Kentucky Correctional Facility

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
November 10, 2023US News
Former Federal Prison Officers Given Jailtime for Assaulting Inmates at Kentucky Correctional Facility
The Department of Justice in Washington on Jan. 14, 2020. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Two former Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) corrections officers were sentenced on Wednesday to prison for their roles in the assaults of inmates held at U.S. Penitentiary Big Sandy in Kentucky.

Samuel J. Patrick, 41, and Clinton L. Pauley, 42, were sentenced to 36 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release and 40 months in prison, followed by one year of supervised release, respectively.

The officers had previously pleaded guilty and testified against a third co-defendant at a trial earlier this year, according to a press release by the Justice Department.

“As today’s convictions demonstrate, the Department of Justice will hold accountable BOP employees who abuse their position of authority and those in their custody,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “

“We will not let up in our ongoing efforts to root out abuse and misconduct at the Bureau of Prisons, so that it can fulfill its mission to safely and humanely care for the adults in its custody while also preparing them to reenter society,” she added.

Assaulted for Walking Too Slow

Mr. Patrick and Mr. Pauley used what was described as unreasonable force to punish two inmates housed at Big Sandy in 2021, court documents show. This included spraying one inmate in the face with pepper spray in March of that year and kicking him in the head and upper body.

According to witness testimony, the inmate did not pose a threat and was compliant but was assaulted merely for walking too slowly to his cell.

A second inmate was assaulted the following month by the officers who elbowed him in the head and punched him in the body.

The victim of that assault had requested protection from other inmates. Upon learning of his previous affiliation with black gangs, Mr. Patrick referred to him as a “race traitor,” the release states, followed by repeated blows to his head and body by both Mr. Patrick and Mr. Pauley.

Mr. Pauley additionally confessed to assaulting a third federal inmate during an unrelated encounter in March 2021.

Furthermore, in relation to both former attacks, Mr. Patrick’s and Mr. Pauley’s co-defendant, Lieutenant Kevin C. Pearce was present during both assaults on the inmates.

Lt. Pearce subsequently provided assistance in covering up their crimes by writing false reports, backing up their cover stories, and pressuring subordinate officers to join the cover-ups, of which he was found guilty at a separate trial, according to the release. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5.

‘Racially-Charged and Violent Assault’

According to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, physical abuse and corruption by law enforcement officers is unacceptable no matter where it occurs.

These particular offenses, however, are particularly notable,she said, because they were committed by veteran federal officers in a Bureau of Prisons facility.

“Defendant Patrick’s racially-charged and violent assault on one inmate was not only unlawful but morally reprehensible,” according to Ms. Clarke.

She went on to say that constitutional abuses by federal officers are taken extremely seriously and that any officers who violate these laws will be subject to prosecution.

Her statement was echoed by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz of the Justice Department, who commented on the deplorable nature of the crimes.

“Patrick and Pauley engaged in egregious acts of violence towards inmates in their custody and care, and then tried to cover up their crimes,” he said, according to the release.

U.S. Attorney Carlton S. Shier IV, for the Eastern District of Kentucky, said that the defendants breached the public’s trust by abusing their authority and the civil rights of those in their care.

“Holding law enforcement officials accountable for civil rights violations is an important first step to restoring the public trust in dedicated law enforcement and to protecting the civil rights of everyone,” he stated.

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