MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal prosecutors announced Tuesday that four Alabama corrections officers will face federal charges after a state inmate was kicked and hit with batons while he lay on the ground in a fetal position.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictments a week after accusing the state prison system of having a pattern of using excessive force on prisoners.
Prosecutors said Sgt. Keith Finch and corrections Officers Jordan Thomas and Kevin Blaylock are charged with deprivation of rights under color of law and Thomas and Sgt. Orlanda Walker are charged with obstruction of justice. It is not immediately clear if they have attorneys.
The indictment alleges that on Sept. 12, 2018, Finch, Thomas and Blaylock used excessive force to punish a prisoner who ran out of his cell in the Bibb Correctional Facility.
The Department of Justice said in a news release that after two officers took the prisoner to the ground, the prisoner curled up in a fetal position and then Finch, Thomas and Blaylock kicked the prisoner and hit him multiple times with their batons. The prisoner was injured.
Thomas and his supervisor, Walker, are accused of filing false reports that claimed “all force ceased” once the prisoner was on the ground.