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UPDATE: Prisons chief asks FBI to investigate inmate beating

by Dara Kam | August 21st, 2009

homepage-mcneilFlorida Department of Corrections Secretary Walt McNeil has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigations to join state law enforcement officials investigating the weekend beating of an inmate by prison guards at Union Correction Institution in Raiford.

McNeil revealed little about the nature of the 47-year-old inmate’s injuries other than that they are “serious” but did not know if they were life-threatening. The unnamed inmate remains in the hospital, McNeil said.

Four guards took removed the inmate from his cell on Saturday after he threw feces at them, McNeil said. On Monday morning, another prison worker reported the injuries.

McNeil fired four nurses and placed seven correctional officers on paid leave. He said he asked the FBI to investigate because of possible civil rights violations.

The beatings are the latest in a string of attacks on inmates by prison guards at UCI and neighboring Florida State Prison in Starke.

But McNeil said he doubts there is a systemic problem in the prison system.

“There is never an excuse for this type of behavior. What you’re seeing is a manifestation of persons that don’t have that kind of self-control that they need to,” he said.

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41 Responses to “UPDATE: Prisons chief asks FBI to investigate inmate beating”

  1. sebastian dansk Says:

    wow. hurling crap at someone doesn’t get much more disrespectful than that, and I can say that my response to it woudn’t have been professional. that being said, abusing the inmate over a two-day period borders on sadism.

  2. Pointing fingers Says:

    Ms. Kam, Why does the FBI need to come in? What’s wrong with FDLE or the internal investigators our tax dollars pay for?—Don’t let this ‘someone else will solve it for us’ stuff go without examination, it is a classic move. How many beatings have been reported at the prisons this year and what do the medical reports say. Do the people on leave have prior investigations? Why isn’t Tallahassee releasing more about those involved???

  3. GlimmerTriplet Says:

    I can’t say that I blame the guards for throwing a beating on this man. He didn’t get sent to prison for being a good person, that’s for sure. Then he wants to throw feces on guards? No mention of what his prior disciplinary problems were, but my money is on him being a repeat idiot. The lesson: don’t break the law, get thrown in prison and throw poop on guards or you’ll get your head kicked in.

  4. FDOCEyes Says:

    OK, so let me get this right…the CO’s can beat an inmate for 2 days, which sends him to the hospital (on more tax payers dollars) and they are suspended WITH pay? It’s obvious they beat him – Secretary McNeil states the injuries are “serious”, so why aren’t they (at the very least) suspended WITHOUT pay? Why should our tax dollars continue to support them? They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent; the same as any “joe” on the street would be. CO’s take an Oath…whatever happened to that? I’m sure beating an inmate isn’t part of that. Dispicable behavior, they should ALL be fired.

  5. mackie mccleod Says:

    to view a partial list of crimes committed by FBI agents over 1500 pages long see

    to view a partial list of FBI agents arrested for pedophilia see

  6. Lance Cooper Says:

    He was “allegedly” beaten on Saturday. I always thought a person was innoncent until proven guilty. McNeal just does not want peole there is a coverup, thusthe outside agencey FBI. Any officer or civilian has a right to defend themselves from an assault on their person. Throwing feces on an officer is an assault, and I believe a felony (aids, hepatitis etc). UCI is where the worst of the worst are housed. All the pieces of crap that can’t behave at other prisons wind up there and at FSP. The only recourse was a Disciplinary Report which has no effect on an inmate that is never getting out of prison. He got what he deserved.

  7. truth Says:

    And where is this mcneil person? On the phone! Why he is not helping his people that work for him? Why he is not down at U.C.I. talking to the people under him? Finding out what really happen or why it happen and helping all the people invole. Or is a convicted felon, who feels the need to throw feces on his employes the only persons that is important! But I guess if it is ok for mcneil to point fingers and guilt at people before they are found quilty. Then he might not see it to be a wrong thing for the people who went through his training and hiring process to be assulat with feces

  8. PrisonMovement Says:

    Enough is enough…McNeil said he doubts there is a systemic problem in the prison system- REALLY?? This goes back to the days of Crosby. Prisoner abuse has been rampant in Florida for YEARS…The Murder of Frank Valdes, and those 8 guards WALKED!!! About time the FBI gets called in…no more cover ups!!!

  9. fran Says:

    Those guards need to be fired. The inmate was definitely wrong for throwing feces on them, but the guards should not have beaten the prisoner. Why couldn’t they have given him a d.r. and put him in solitary confinement. Prisoners are not supposed to be beaten. That’s what solitary confinement is for. Guards need more training. How would they like it if they or one of their family members were beaten like that? They need more training or a new career. Obviously, this isn’t the career for them.
    Above all, they should not be on paid leave. That’s just wrong. If it was McNeil’s family member, I bet he’d be singing a different tune!

  10. On 2nd thought Says:

    I challenge any of you to walk the halls of worst prisons in Florida, have feces and urine thrown on you several times per week and see what reaction you have.

    We’re told “we never walk alone” but the “leaders” will not take action – prosecution or other types of punishment – against inmates who attack officers, outside a transfer to another institution.

    Sure, they’re put into confinement and have their gain-time taken away, but they’re rarely prosecuted.

    This is an insult and a travesty against those of us who serve as the wall for those you don’t want as your neighbors.

    300+ attacks each year on officers and staff, constant “bombing” (throwing bodily fluids on staff), “gunning” (masturbating and throwing semen on staff members, particularly female nurses and officers), and little action taken.

    We’re told “we never walk alone” but the reality of it is, we do because the administration will not back us up.

    You want to see reduced actions against inmates? Prosecute these prisoners to the fullest extent of law when they attack or violate officers. If you’re not willing to do that, you’re going to keep having these issues.

    And deep down, you know you’d do the same.

  11. You'd have to be there Says:

    Do any of you people have to wear raincoats inside a building to keep the people who keep an eye on from throwing (literally) crap at you?

    Just a question.

  12. Prosecute the Criminals Says:

    On 2nd Though has a valid point: get the Department of Corrections to show how many times they’ve pursued prosecution against inmates who’ve attacked officers.

    Dara, it’s a pretty straight forward question. McNeil’s usually pretty quick with information about the alleged attacks against inmates; let’s see what information they have on attacks on officers and what action is taken against them.

  13. Protect the COs Says:

    Did anyone see a report of this horrible beating?

  14. Donna Fitzgerald Says:

    Secretary McNeil,

    Have you paid benefits to Donna Fitzgerald’s family yet? You do remember the officer who was murdered by an inmate when walking alone last year, right?

    Hope to hear from you soon!


  15. PrisonMovement Says:

    Well we can see the GUARDS are showing force as usual. to those of you say…well he threw feces…You knew the risks going into this job- we have no pity for you. That does NOT give you the right to beat another human being-period. ALL of you should be fired, no pay while on leave either- you dont deserve it.
    Your no better than those you guard!!
    Get’em outta there!!

  16. Firing Back Says:

    PrisonMovement, you evidently didn’t want these people in your society, so they were sent to us to deal with.

    They break the rules – and the law – and the administration won’t support any legal action against them.

    I invite you to come walk behind the fence with me. Spend an eight hour shift with me at Union CI. See what happens.

    But if you’re not happy when guards retaliate against prisoners (because the administration certainly won’t take any action and so they feel this is the only way they can strike back) then surely you’d be quite happy with them in your neighborhood. Perhaps in a half-way house next to the playground or school.

  17. what happened? Says:

    What happened to the officer at Jefferson CI that was sucker punched by an inmate and rendered likely unable to work again? What happened to the inmate? Was he prosecuted?

  18. DopeMan Says:

    PrisonMovement makes a valid point, but on the wrong side. He says “you know the risks when you took the job” and he right. Inmates know the risk when they assault an officer or staff member.

    Particularly when inmates have no fear of prosecution by DC as an agency.

    Face it, if the inmate hadn’t “bombed” the staff this wouldn’t have happened.

    And it the DC administration would take legal action against inmates that do this then these actions would be at a minimum.

  19. PrisonMovement Says:

    The GUARDS should NEVER retaliate by using their hands and BEATING an inmate- that is why you have the BOX or segregation- it is NOT your place nor part of your job description to mete out brutality or justice. If your admins are not doing their jobs, dont take it out on the inmates; JEEZUS!! I dont care what you say, how you present your argument- your in the WRONG and you know it.
    Do it the right way, or get the hell out!!

  20. Dee Says:

    beating an inmate is criminal, how much time should those guards get? The nurses should be ashamed of themselves for covering up. Seems like they won’t be happy until they kill someone like they did Frank Valdez, beating him unrecongnisable, and then getting away with it. let me see your belt buckles, “Good ol’boys”.

  21. Wanda Valdes Says:

    I am at a loss for the way we treat our inmates. Yes IF THE INMATE REALLY THREW
    feces on a guard he should be punished . But anyon who thinks a 2 day beating is right is not a moral person. We expect inmates to act out. But we expect much more of guards. My husband never threw feces on anyone yet he was beat to death by 8 guards july 17,1999. He was sticking up for an inmate beaten every day by guards. Yet every guard walkewd free. A uniform does not give anyone the right to murder. USDOJ waited til everyone calmed down over Frank Valdes death then they swept it under the rug. THESE ROGUE GUARDS RUINE IT FOR THE GUARDS WHO JUST WANT TO DO A JOB. pLUS IF THE GOOD GUARDS SPEAK UP THEIR LIVES ARE IN DANGER.And can you believe when the guards went to trial they choose a x guard as the head of the jury, and the lawyer for one of the inmates stood up and said we know the guards murdered Frank we just do not know who did the killing blow. they were all aquitted
    Wanda wife of a beat to death inmate

  22. Debra Says:

    The administration are failing in their duties to the guards when they fail to prosecute any inmate who attacks a member of staff. That being said, how much will that prosecution cost the State of Fla and how much will it actually punish someone who’s already destined to die behind bars? That money is better off going to the families of the guards who are hurt and killed while at work, or as a consequence of their employment.

    HOWEVER, when someone takes an Oath during their course of employment they should be following that oath to the letter. If you’re fully aware that your character isn’t up to tolerating the crap that prisoners throw at you, then you shouldn’t be in Corrections. Losing your temper because of being in the receiving end of behaviour that you were aware was going to happen, isn’t an excuse. You took the Oath – you’re supposed to be better than the people who are behind bars and carrying on with this crap. Resorting to their level makes them the winners and you, the losers.

    There’s an old adage that says – ‘if you can’t stand the heat, then stay out of the kitchen.’ If you can’t keep your hands to yourself, if your Union is failing you by not forcing the issue of proper punishment on these inmates (solitary confinement, etc) and you’re not happy – then look for another job. Don’t become a legalised thug and possible killer.

  23. PrisonMovement Says:

    received an email from a friend- now tell me I dont know what I am talking about:
    Dear DOC Friends, I have been telling it like it is for over six years now. I know many of these officers and they are violent, abusive and out of control Officers. I, personally, was sexually assaulted, by male staff. Who was I suppose to tell? Especially during the Crosby years? I hope these officers are fired, decertified and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Aaron Coleman is the son of the retired Bennie Coleman, who made it all the way to the rank of Warden at a prison down south. I am so sick of Officers beating inmates, stealing, lying and getting away with it. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. Like I said, I personally know several of these Officers and worked many years with Bennett Kilgore. Enough Said

  24. barb Says:

    They must be hiring the lowest form of scum that they can find to work in Florida prisons. What’s with you people? You knew the down side to the job when you took it, or possibly you weren’t smart enough to understand what was being told to you. The majority of time that you read about “cowboy” CO’s it’s in the state of Florida. Other states know how to set up safety barriers so this type of situation doesn’t happen. Can’t you people figure it out? The inmate is quite possibly mentally ill, does the state of Florida ever consider that possibility? If he’s not and is truly evil, then segragate him, don’t try to beat him to death for God’s sake. Who empowered CO’s to make that kind of decision? Are you really so stupid that you think beating and killing people are part of your job. Get out of the industry. I would say go get a job at McDonad’s, but then you probably would try to beat someone to death because they complained about their fries. Enough is enough, you people need some mental health counseling yourselves or even better you need to be beaten on for days.

  25. dpurplephone Says:

    If you work for FLDOC you know what can and most likely will happen should you walk the inmate’s areas after all the names COs are called are a dead give-away. I do not envy any officer that job but I pay taxes in this state I pay your wages I pay you to keep inmates housed within this prison system that does not cover beating, killing, or any thing other then keeping them housed within the prisons in this state. You are not there to punish them you are there to keep them where they are as that it self is the punishment.

  26. Wanda Valdes Says:

    This shows everyone how the guards think. This is why these guards need
    to be charged. We know inmates are at times mental and we know they
    have problems but no one should have the right to murder an inmate or to
    beat them. It does not matter what state you are in or where you are; we
    need to speak up. If you do not answer, you become a part of the problem.
    Do you want these sadistic people to hurt your family member? Prisoners
    outnumber guards yet we seem afraid to speak up.


  27. dpurplephone Says:

    Remember you treat a person like an animal you get a animal… not all inmates will die in prison they will come out how they are treated is what you will get moving in next to you or down the street or really even into your own homes.. After all we have more then 100,000 inmates in this state. Not all of these men and women are Lifers. and they can be someone you know or who know you.

  28. DopeMan Says:

    These inmates are not mentally ill. They are incorrigible that will never rehabilitate. They act out because they are pure evil.

    I have no sympathy for them when they throw crap at people anf then get beat silly.

    Even children know this lesson: don’t throw things and you don’t get beat by you parents.

  29. carolleo Says:

    From My friend Laura in CA;
    Since when are COs the Judge, the Jury and the Executioner? Let’s face the fact that these COs commited the crime of assault. I f you or I were being investigated on the charge of assault no one would be paying us until the facts were clear, in fact, if, you did not have bail money we would be waiting at the local county jail! What do we know about WHY (if) the inmate threw the feces? Was there provocation, maybe by the same COs? I say, let’s treat ALL criminals the same, even the ones with badges!

  30. carolleo Says:

    Dopeman: you have no sympathy, that much is obvious…you also must have NO BRAIN to think it is OK for a GUARD to beat an inmate…No matter what, it is NEVER ok for a guard to beat an inmate. NO MATTER WHAT!!

  31. DopeMan Says:

    Why is it ok to throw feces at officers? Why are you so willing to let that go? Why do you think nothing should happen to inmates?

  32. truth Says:

    carolleo,I know that you would have beaten that inmate to death. You got angry at dopeman for a comment, What would you do if someone threw urine and feces in your face????And PRisonmovement how dare you blame these people for what happen to you. Where you there? do you know for sure these people beat this person or just because they did act like you want them to when you work with them they are quilty. And what did these people have to do with you being sexaully assult? Crosby has move on,maybe you need to get some counseling because i can tell you are a very angry person and are still trying to blame these people for what happen to you along time ago.

  33. prisonmovement Says:

    Yes I got angry at a comment, but that does not mean I cannot control my anger and I most certainly would never left my hand to strike another for free speech!
    Obviously Truth, you half a$$ed read my comments and twisted them around to SUIT you…you have no valid points here.
    The fact is this: These guards should never, EVER lay their hands on an inmate in the manner cited here- EVER, no matter what. If your admins & union are not taking care of these issues, its not your place to take the law into your own hands- your wrong…’nuff said!

  34. prisonmovement Says:

    DopeMan Says:
    August 24th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Why is it ok to throw feces at officers? Why are you so willing to let that go? Why do you think nothing should happen to inmates?

    it is part of your job…beating an inmate isnt- simple.

  35. Donna Fitzgerald Says:

    I didn’t strike back at the inmate that killed me. This should make you soft-as-cotton inmate lovers happy.

  36. Darla Lathrem Says:

    I didn’t strike back, either. I died as a result. Oh, well, guess that was part of my job and that I somehow had it coming.

  37. prisonmovement Says:

    The last two comments here are DESPICABLE!! Those guards who post here like that give the rest of the guards a bad name…one bad apple DOES spoil the whole bunch. YOU do a great disservice to those who conduct themselves professionally….you ought to be ashamed…

  38. DopeMan Says:

    PrisonMovement, you can’t have it both ways. According to you, COs are supposed to take it because it’s part of the job. We’re not to play judge, jury, or executioner. But if we wish to be executed by inmates, then that’s part of it. Right?

  39. Who's Watching My Back? Says:

    Kooks like PrisonMovement would have had a fit if those two officers had fought back and somehow injured the inmates in question. He’d be screaming, “it’s part of your job!!!!!”


  40. PrisonMovement Says:

    Hey Dopeman- what about your training? Does your training not include how to subdue with out injury? What about a restraint chair? You dont fool me or anyone else for that matter..No you dont get to play judge jury or executioner. Obviously your weak minded and dont know how to handle the prisoners you guard.

    who’s watching my back- Kook my arse, and Im not a he, Im a she….click my name for my blog…your post made no sense whatsoever…try again?

  41. Who's Watching My Back? Says:

    You’re one of these lefties who put the rights of criminals above the rights of people to protect themselves. That makes you a kook.

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