Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 24, 2020

Former Florida Department of Corrections Officer Convicted of Civil Rights Conspiracy to Assault Youthful Offenders

Former Florida Department of Corrections officer, Terrance Reynolds, 30, was convicted Friday following a 14-day trial for conspiring to assault youthful offender inmates, announced the Department of Justice. The jury acquitted Reynolds of two counts of depriving the youthful offender inmates of their civil rights.

Evidence presented at trial established that on March 27, 2017, Reynolds and former Sergeant Brendan Butler, 30, conspired to physically assault and intimidate youthful offender inmates for being disruptive and disrespectful earlier that morning. Reynolds and Butler then instructed three of the inmates to exit their housing unit and took them into a mop closet. Once inside the mop closet, Reynolds and Butler assaulted one of the inmates with a stick, causing him bodily injury, while the other two inmates stood nearby. The following day, Reynolds and Butler assaulted one of the other inmates to punish him for being disrespectful. Inmates may be classified as youthful offenders by a court or the Department of Corrections, and are generally 24 years old or younger. Butler previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the inmates’ civil rights.     

“Corrections officers who use unjustified force against inmates in their custody violate the Constitution,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to vigorously investigating and prosecuting officers who break the public trust in this way.” 

“In the Southern District of Florida, abuse by corrections officers will not be tolerated. Let this be a message to them: If you are an officer who violates the civil rights of those entrusted to your protection, my Office will prosecute you,” said Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

“Former corrections officer Terrance Reynolds was found guilty of conspiring to assault youthful offender inmates. Such conduct violates the public’s trust in our institutions and officials,” said George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “I commend the professionalism and hard work of the Florida Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General and the FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force with this investigation.”

Reynolds faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. 

This case was being investigated by the FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force and the Florida Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert Senior and Brian Dobbins of the Southern District of Florida and Special Litigation Counsel Samantha Trepel of the Civil Rights Division.

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 
20-222
Updated February 24, 2020