The Department of Justice announced that Jerrod Porter Lane, 26, a former detention officer at the Muskogee, Okla., County Jail (MCJ), pleaded guilty today in federal court to charges related to his assault of an inmate at MCJ and his subsequent attempts to cover up the assault. Lane pleaded guilty to use of excessive force, violating the civil rights of an inmate, falsifying records and making false statements to the FBI.
According to court documents, on Oct. 1, 2011, Lane, while working in his capacity as a jailer, sprayed the victim, an inmate at MCJ, with jail-issued Oleoresin Capsicum spray (OC or pepper spray) while the victim was restrained in a restraint chair and not a physical threat to anyone. Lane deployed the OC spray to punish the victim for bothering Lane, even though he knew it was wrong both to spray a restrained inmate and to use force as a means to punish.
Lane then falsified his report and a fellow corrections officer’s report to try to justify his wrongful conduct and then later lied to FBI agents to cover up his actions. Specifically, Lane falsely wrote in both reports that the victim was physically resisting the officers and that he deployed his OC spray before the victim was restrained. In fact, Lane used the OC spray after the victim was fully restrained and unable to pose a threat. Likewise, on Oct. 7, 2011, Lane falsely told FBI agents that the victim was not restrained when he sprayed the victim with OC spray.
“Our system of justice relies on corrections officers to follow the laws they are sworn to enforce,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will aggressively prosecute corrections officers who use their authority to physically abuse inmates.”
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
This case was investigated by the Muskogee Resident Agency of the Oklahoma City Division of the FBI and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Fara Gold of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Roberts for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.