UPDATE: Prisons chief asks FBI to investigate inmate beatingby Dara Kam | August 21st, 2009
Florida 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.