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Press Release

Former Louisville, Kentucky Department of Corrections Officer Sentenced to 36 Months in Prison for Violent Assault on Pretrial Detainee

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Darrell Taylor, 32, a former officer with the Louisville Metro Department of Correction, in Louisville, Kentucky, was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for using unreasonable force against a detainee, thereby violating the detainee’s civil rights.

In October 2022, a jury heard evidence proving that the defendant, while working as a correctional officer, assaulted B.R., a pretrial detainee being detained in the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. On Dec. 15, 2020, Taylor was serving breakfast to detainees in the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. During the breakfast service, B.R., a detainee with reported mental health issues, used insulting language in a conversation with Taylor, after which Taylor followed B.R. back to B.R.’s bunk, grabbed him, threw him to the ground and punched him repeatedly in the face. After the fourth punch, B.R. went limp and lost consciousness. Taylor then lifted B.R. and slammed him face-first into the ground. B.R.’s jaw and cheekbone were broken during the assault.

“The defendant abused his authority as a law enforcement officer and betrayed the public’s trust when he violently assaulted a detainee in his custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Officials working inside jails and prisons who abuse inmates and detainees are not above the law, and we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who deprive people of their Constitutional rights.”

“The defendant’s violent assault in this case was a blatant disregard of the civil rights and physical well-being of a Metro Department of Corrections’ detainee,” said U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett for the Western District of Kentucky. “This office will continue to thoroughly investigate and aggressively prosecute corrections officials who violate the civil rights of individuals through the use of unreasonable force.”

“Corrections officers are tasked with the difficult job of maintaining a safe and secure environment in our prison facilities. When one officer abuses the authority placed in them by violating the civil rights of an inmate, it undermines the trust placed in all law enforcement officers,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI Louisville Field Office. “This sentence should be a reminder that the FBI takes all allegations of civil rights violations seriously and will vigorously investigate and seek prosecution for these abuses of power.”                         

The FBI Louisville Field Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gregory for the Western District of Kentucky and Trial Attorney Andrew Manns of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section prosecuted the case.

Updated January 26, 2023

Topic
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 23-100