FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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Former D.C. Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty to Assault
In June 2011 Incident at D.C. Jail
- Admits Using Unnecessary Force in Confrontation With Inmate -
WASHINGTON - Darryl Ellison, 51, a former employee of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, has pled guilty to a charge of simple assault stemming from an attack against an inmate at the D.C. Jail, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. and James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, announced today.
Ellison, who worked 23 years for the Department of Corrections, pled guilty on March 16, 2012 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Juliet McKenna scheduled sentencing for May 7, 2012. Ellison faces a maximum of 180 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Under the plea agreement, Ellison has resigned. In addition, he has agreed to perform 150 hours of community service and pay a $150 fine.
According to a statement of facts, signed by the defendant as well as the government, Ellison was working as a sergeant on June 26, 2011 in the jail’s Receiving and Discharge Unit. He was in full uniform and armed with a canister of Oleoresin Capsicum spray, or “O.C. spray.”
That day, at about 10:50 a.m., another sergeant found suspected contraband inside the sock of an inmate. That sergeant and another officer escorted the inmate to the Receiving and Discharge area for a strip search. During the search, the inmate tossed one of his socks and it hit Ellison in the shin. Ellison administered a burst of O.C. spray into the inmate’s face, put him against a wall, and kicked him in the buttocks.
In addition, even after the inmate got down into a prone position and was not resisting, Ellison administered yet another burst of O.C. spray directly into the inmate’s face.
In the statement of facts, Ellison admitted that his kick and the second use of O.C. spray were not authorized uses of force under the circumstances, and were unnecessary and wanton.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen and Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin thanked the FBI’s Washington Field Office as well as Ben Collins of the Office of Internal Affairs of the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, who jointly investigated the case. They also thanked those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Legal Assistant Krishawn Graham and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jean W. Sexton, of the Civil Rights Unit of the Fraud and Public Corruption Section, who is prosecuting the matter.