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Press Release

Former Green Haven Correction Officer Pleads Guilty To Assaulting Inmate In State Custody

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that TAJ EVERLY pled guilty to a deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law.  On May 28, 2020, EVERLY, then a correction officer at Green Haven Correctional Facility, assaulted an individual incarcerated in the custody of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (“DOCCS”), striking and tackling the inmate without provocation, and then attempted to obstruct the investigation of his assault by preparing a false report.  EVERLY’s actions deprived the incarcerated individual of the constitutional right to be free from excessive force amounting to cruel and unusual punishment.  EVERLY pled guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As he admitted today, former correction officer Taj Everly violated the constitutional rights of an incarcerated individual by using excessive force amounting to cruel and unusual punishment.  The protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution extend to all Americans, including those who are serving time in prison.  When individuals in power abuse their authority to injure the powerless, we will act aggressively to ensure justice is served.”

According to the Superseding Indictment and other documents in the public record as well as statements made in public court proceedings:

EVERLY previously worked as a correction officer assigned to Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville, New York.  On May 28, 2020, while on duty, EVERLY assaulted an incarcerated individual without provocation, striking him with a closed fist and then tackling him to the ground.  After the assault, EVERLY falsified a report about the incident, identifying the inmate as the aggressor, thereby obstructing the investigation into the unjustified use of force.

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EVERLY, 32, of Cortlandt Manor, New York, pled guilty to a deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The statutory maximum penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the DOCCS Office of Special Investigations.

The case is being handled by the Civil Rights Unit in the Criminal Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kaiya Arroyo and Lindsey Keenan are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated April 27, 2023

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 23-154