3 officers and sergeant charged in NJ jail beating
NEWARK — Three corrections officers have been charged in the beating of a federal detainee at a county jail in North Jersey last year, and a sergeant is accused of failing to intervene in the attack, federal prosecutors announced Friday.
The Essex County officers are Angel Chaparro, 38; Damion James, 40; and Luis Ortiz, 29. Along with Sgt. Herman Pride, 51, they are each charged with conspiracy to violate a person’s civil rights. Pride and Ortiz were arrested Thursday and released on bail, while Chaparro and James were due to appear in federal court on Friday.
The attack occurred Aug. 17 after a man identified as a federal pretrial detainee squirted a mixture of urine, yogurt and milk onto a correctional officer, prosecutors said. He was then put into a disciplinary cell at the jail, and the three officers allegedly struck him multiple times.
The man said he saw Pride standing inside the cell watching the attack, prosecutors said, and Pride eventually said, “Okay, that’s enough” and the attack ended.
The detainee's face was left swollen and bruised, but when he asked for medical assistance, he was initially denied. The man told Pride that if he could get medical help, he would lie and say that he had fallen off his bed, prosecutors said, but Pride declined.
The man was finally taken to a hospital two days later.
Authorities also claim the officers failed to document their use of force, which is mandated by the jail’s policies. Instead, Chaparro signed a false report indicating that no force had been used, prosecutors said.
Chaparro’s attorney declined to comment, while attorneys for the other three defendants did not immediately respond Friday to messages seeking comment.
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