U. S. Penitentiary Lieutenant arraigned on excessive force and obstruction of justice charges
ATLANTA – Lieutenant Gregory McLeod, a senior correctional officer at the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, has been arraigned following an investigation of an allegation that McLeod used excessive force against an inmate in 2016. McLeod was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 24, 2017, and has been charged with unnecessarily assaulting the inmate, writing two false official accounts about the encounter, and lying to federal investigators about his conduct.
“We recognize that detention officers have a difficult job as they maintain order and protect inmates in our nation’s prisons,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “This officer, however, allegedly abused his power, committed a violent and unnecessary assault on an inmate, and then filed a false report to cover up the incident.”
“The FBI continues to play a vital role in ensuring that all credible allegations of civil rights violations involving law enforcement officers are appropriately investigated and prosecuted under one of the several criminal statutes that address civil rights abuses and other criminal conduct by law enforcement and corrections officers. That was certainly the case with U.S. Bureau of Prisons Lt. McLeod, wherein allegations of excessive force were received, resulting in a federal investigation, grand jury indictment, and today’s arraignment in federal court. The FBI would like to remind the public, however, that the vast majority of law enforcement officers and corrections officers provide admirable services while often under stressful and time constrained situationss,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office.
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictment, and other information presented in court: McLeod, who worked as a supervisor at the prison, allegedly strip-searched an inmate in his office in front of three other correctional officers. After the inmate complained that the strip-search was taking too long, McLeod repeatedly punched the inmate in his face, injuring him. Following the assault, McLeod wrote an incident report and a separate memorandum about the encounter in which he falsely claimed that the inmate swung a closed fist at McLeod and attempted to assault other officers before the officers could apply hand and leg restraints. The indictment charges that McLeod used excessive force and thereby violated the inmate’s constitutional rights. The indictment also accuses McLeod of intentionally impeding and obstructing the investigation of the incident by writing false reports and lying to two federal agents.
Gregory McLeod, 44, of East Point, Georgia, was arraigned on these charges during a hearing in federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Catherine M. Salinas.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the DOJ Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Alan Gray and DOJ Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Mary J. Hahn are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.