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Press Release

Former D.C. Corrections Officer Sentenced for Civil Rights Violation for Assaulting a Handcuffed Inmate

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A former District of Columbia Department of Corrections Officer, Marcus Bias, 28, was sentenced today to 42 months in prison followed by 24 months of supervised release for one count of deprivation of rights under color of law for assaulting a handcuffed inmate. Bias previously pleaded guilty in March.

“This defendant had a duty to treat people in his custody humanely,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The defendant is being held accountable for violently ramming an inmate’s head into a metal doorframe while the victim was handcuffed, surrounded by six officers and posed no threat. The Justice Department will vigorously investigate and prosecute such excessive force against prisoners and will insist that corrections officers respect the civil and constitutional rights of those entrusted to their care.” 

“Like any other law enforcement officer, the defendant had a duty to protect the constitutional rights of anyone who was in his care and custody,” said U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves for the District of Columbia. “The defendant ignored that responsibility, when he assaulted and seriously injured an inmate who posed no threat.  Such assaults are civil rights violations that will be prosecuted.”

“Today, Marcus Bias was sentenced for violently injuring an inmate and violating their civil rights,” said Special Agent in Charge David J. Scott of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal and Cyber Division. “The FBI is charged with investigating those who violate a person’s civil rights, and it’s a responsibility the FBI takes very seriously. I would like to thank our partners who worked side-by-side with the FBI on this investigation in order to hold Marcus Bias accountable for his criminal actions.”

According to court documents, Bias, intentionally and without provocation, pushed a detainee’s head into a metal doorframe while escorting him within the Department of Corrections on June 12, 2019, causing significant injuries. At the time, the detainee, J.W., had his hands handcuffed behind his back, was suffering from the effects of O.C. spray, was surrounded by five other officers and was not resisting. J.W.’s injuries required emergency medical attention at a hospital.

The FBI Washington Field Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Anna Gotfryd of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Truscott for the District of Columbia prosecuted the case. 

Updated June 28, 2024

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 24-831