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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Former Jailer Pleads Guilty to Assault of Inmate

Former jailer pleads guilty to assault of inmate 
The Muskogee Phoenix  -  May 17, 2012
Ex-officer used pepper spray on inmate, then sought to cover up events

A former officer at the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility pleaded guilty Wednesday for assaulting an inmate and covering up the assault. Jerrod Porter Lane, 26, pleaded guilty in federal court to use of excessive force, violating the civil rights of an inmate, falsifying records and making false statements to the FBI. Court documents state Lane sprayed the inmate with pepper spray while the inmate was restrained in a chair and not a physical threat. The documents state Lane used the spray to punish the inmate for bothering Lane, according to a media release by the Department of Justice. Lane then falsified his report and a fellow corrections officer’s report and later lied to FBI agents. Lane wrote in both reports that the inmate was physically resisting the officers and Lane used the spray before the inmate was fully restrained. “Our system of justice relies on corrections officers to follow the laws they are sworn to enforce,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will aggressively prosecute corrections officers who use their authority to physically abuse inmates.” Phillip Oliver, an inmate at the detention facility, pleaded guilty Jan. 11 to punching the restrained inmate. Oliver admitted to assaulting the inmate at Lane’s request. The indictment against Lane stated Lane told Oliver to “go in there and do what you gotta do.” Lane promised Oliver he would cover for him if Oliver got into trouble for punching the inmate. A sentencing date for Lane has not been set.

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