News and Press Releases

Former Bureau of Prisons Correctional Officer Sentenced on Conviction Arising from Inmate Beating and Subsequent Cover-up

September 11, 2008

Three Former Correctional Officers Previously Sentenced for Their Roles in Same Incident

BROOKLYN, NY – Jamie Toro, a former Correctional Officer at the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Metropolitan Detention Center (“MDC”) in Brooklyn, NY, was sentenced today to 41 months’ imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release for his role in violating the civil rights of a former MDC inmate by beating him and then engaging in a cover-up. The sentencing proceeding was held earlier today before United States District Judge Carol B. Amon.

Toro was one of four officers convicted after a jury trial in January 2008 for their involvement in this incident. Three of the other officers have already been sentenced: on September 8, 2008, former Correctional Officer Glen Cummings was sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release; and on August 11, 2008, former MDC Lieutenant Elizabeth Torres was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release, and former Correctional Officer Angel Perez was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release, including six months’ home confinement.

In April 2006, Toro and other officers escorted the inmate from the housing unit, where the inmate had assaulted another correctional officer, to an elevator in order to move him to solitary confinement. Upon entering the elevator, Toro stuck out his leg and threw the inmate, who was handcuffed behind his back, face-down onto the steel-plated floor of the elevator. Cummings then ran onto the elevator and repeatedly stomped on the inmate’s back and shoulders while the inmate was restrained on the floor. The force of the blows left the imprint of Cummings’ boot imbedded on the inmate’s back. While the beating took place, Torres and Perez watched from the hallway outside the elevator door. The officers’s assault was caught on a newly installed digital recording system connected to a video camera mounted in the corner of the elevator.

After the assault, Toro, Cummings, Torres, and Perez obstructed the federal Bureau of Prison’s (“BOP”) investigation into the beating by failing to disclose the assault, as is required of all Correctional Officers. Toro further falsely stated in a memorandum submitted to the BOP that the inmate had become combative while being escorted by the officers, prompting the use of force against him.

Previously, two other guards involved in the cover-up pled guilty to false statement charges stemming from the incident and are pending sentence.

“This case demonstrates our commitment to protecting the civil rights of incarcerated persons to be free from the use of excessive force by correctional officers,” stated United States Attorney Benton J. Campbell. Mr. Campbell thanked the Office of the Inspector General for its assistance in the case.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah Coyne and Robert M. Radick, assisted by Office of the Inspector General, Special Agent Laura Riley.

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