Note: In mid-March, we received two letters from an inmate who had been abused by jail officers at the end of February, one written on 2/24 and the other on 2/28. The statements in these letters follow below. The grievances outlined in these letters remain outstanding.
I’m currently an inmate at the Durham County Detention Center (Jail) in Durham, North Carolina. At the time of this letter, I am housed on the third floor in a pod under the name 3-A North where I’m currently awaiting to be reclassed.
On 02-24-19, around 11:50 am & 12:30 pm, I was called from my cell (20) to come downstairs for my pain medication. While talking to the nurse, Officer Cole, whom is known throughout the jail as deceitful and dirty to other inmates, walked off from the nurse and I as we were talking and waited at the main entrance which was about 15 yards from where we were talking. As I was standing in the door, Officer Braswell closed the electric sliding door without warning causing injury to my left foot and toe.
I requested to be seen by medical once the pain became too much to bear and my foot started to swell. Officer Brown told me I gotta wait until Officer/Deputy Cole looked at the video. Officer Brown then told me I was just causing trouble for myself because they all stick together around here and I should know that by now.
Eventually, I was taken to medical maybe 30-35 minutes later, where I was treated. After being seen by medical and given an ice-pack for the swelling, I returned from medical escorted by Sgt. Page. Upon coming off of the elevator, Officer/Dep. Cole was standing in the adjacent hall leading to my dorm/Pod and Lt. Harris-Moore was walking from the other end where dorms 3-D and 3-C is located.
I stopped and asked Officer/Dep. Cole why he didn’t help me at the time of the injury, only to be told that he didn’t care and it was funny to him.
I then walked off towards my unit only to be met by Officers Brown and Sharpe, before coming off the hall. I asked why they looking so hostile and I was told that they’re just following orders.
Before entering my dorm, I was stopped by Sgt. Page, and asked to sign something stating I was seen by medical. Sgt. Page handed me a pen but held the paper. When I asked her to allow me to read what I was signing, she snatched the paper down and yelled at me. So I placed the pen on the windowsill so that they wouldn’t have reason to say I was deemed a threat. Officer Page then snatched the pen from the window once I refused to sign what I couldn’t read, which is a violation of my rights. She then wrote that I refused.
For no reason justifiable, Officers Page, Brown, and Sharpe decided they would walk me to my cell upstairs and entered my cell before I could get there and began taking things out of my cell and kicking books I had under my bed in an attempt to get me to act out. I had these things yesterday and Friday night, which Officers Sharpe and Brown were aware of. Because Officer Sharpe kicked my books, I asked to speak with a Lt. Or Capt. just as Lt. Harris-Moore walked in. I have a standing complaint against an Officer Mayes about her damaging my property during a search, which she is taking her time about for the last 5 months now.
But I tried to explain myself anyway in hopes something will be done. She saw that Officers Sharpe, Brown, and Sgt. Page was antagonizing me and asked them to step outside the cell. I then explained what happened and how I was being set up to look as if I was in the wrong. She then told me that’s how it goes and I have no rights in jail, before walking out saying over her should how “I got it fucked up if I think she’s gonna go against her officers.”
So knowing that they are wrong, they are charging me with (1) “Being in an unauthorized area” after being called to that area for medication, (2) “Insolence towards an officer”, and (3) “Disobeying a direct order”, of which is another lie because if this took place the way they are telling it, a code would’ve been called on the radio in regards to it. In fact, Officer Brown and I passed each other after I was finally told to go back inside and to my cell, despite the fact of me trying to see the nurse for my new injury.
The lies they came together and charged me with is turning it from an accident to an excessive force issue. Because if she told me to move and I didn’t, she knowingly and willingly closed the door on me, causing harm to my body.
I’m absolutely sure that everything that took place is on camera and they are also aware of that fact, which is why these officers came together to conjure a story to save another officer.
This is my statement of the events that took place in the Durham County Detention Center in 3-A North, on 2-24-19.
As of this morning of 2-28-19, I was visited by disciplinary officer Horton, whom informed me that all charges of infractions brought against me has been dismissed based on further review of the video that captured the incident which took place on 2-24-19.
Despite my asking for a copy of the incident report as well as a copy of the statement given by officer Braswell to validate the infractions against me, I was continuously told that I can’t and won’t receive one.
Based on officer Braswell’s statement, detention Sergeant M. Jones charged me with the following A-1, A-2, A-5, and B-4, which are very serious charges in light of what truly took place.
Disciplinary officer Horton also failed to give me my copy of the disposition which I am still attempting to receive.