32 Guards Fired From The Florida Department of Corrections

Michael Crews

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews

On Friday, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews, fired 32 guards with the Florida Department of Corrections. All were accused of criminal wrongdoing or misconduct in connection with the deaths of inmates at four state prisons.

The Miami Herald began an investigative project into reports of alleged brutality and corruption in the prison system. Only then did prison officials begin to acknowledge the complaints.

On September 9, 2014, the Miami Herald reported that Disability Rights Florida, a nonprofit mental health advocacy group, filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to force immediate reforms and investigations into some of the more egregious complaints that it says Crews and others have ignored for more than three years. The law suit alleges that Crews, his department, and Wexford, which provides health services to prisoners, “have permitted people with mental illness who were and currently are housed in the in-patient mental health unit at Dade to be subjected to abuse and discrimination by correctional officers to such an extent that at least two persons with mental illness have died within the past two years,” the suit, being filed Tuesday, alleges.

Rollin-Austin-mugshot

Rollin Austin’s mugshot

One of the correction officers is Rollin Suttle Austin, who the Miami Herald plans to publish their investigative article about tomorrow, Sunday. Records show that Correction officer Austin ordered the gassing of Randall Jordan-Aparo, a 27-year-old check forger who died at Franklin Correctional in September 2010. Jordan-Aparo pleaded to be taken to the hospital for a blood disorder that had flared up. Instead, Austin ordered the gassing in a close quarters cell. Three years after Jordan-Aparo’s death, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement visited the Franklin prison to look into an unrelated wrongdoing and stumbled onto the circumstances behind Jordan-Austin’s death. Florida Department of Law Enforcement inspectors now call what happened as a case of “sadistic retaliatory” behavior by guards.

Randall Jordan-Aparo

Randall Jordan-Aparo died after being gassed by prison guards.

Five of the fired corrections officers are from Union Correctional facility. They are accused of using excessive force in the death of inmate Rudolf Rowe on August 16, 2012.

Eighteen of those fired by Secretary Michael Crews were involved in the death of Matthew Walker at Charlotte Correctional Institution on April 11. Walker, 55, was killed in what the DOC is calling an “inappropriate use of force.”

Correction officers were also fired because of the death of Darren Rainey, a 50-year-old mentally-ill inmate at Dade Correctional. Rainey died in June 2012. Rainey had defecated in his cell and refused to clean it up. The correction officers locked Rainey in a close-like shower and scalded Rainey to death. Chunks of his skin were slipping off his body. When staff witnesses reported their finding to their boss, Inspector General Jeffery Beasley, Beasley alleged said that he would “have their asses” if they didn’t back off.

Darren Rainey

Mentally ill Darren Rainey was scalded to death by prison guards.

In recent weeks, Michael Crews acknowledged that the department has failed to take action against corrections officers involved in inmate abuse. He directed his staff to review all cases in which corrections officers had been placed on paid leave following possible criminal wrongdoing.

The Teamsters Union that represents the officers said that the terminations were conducted without due process. Many of the officers, the union official said, were following protocols set forth by their bosses, who have not been held accountable. They blame procedures and protocols on the wardens.

On September 13, 2014, the Palm Beach Post reported that the Florida Department of Corrections announced the dismissal of three officers and two sergeants for punching and kicking a prisoner at Lancaster Correctional Institution.

Another officer was fired for a DUI arrest and another for driving with a suspended license. The department also fired six other prison staffers for hitting an inmate at Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley while the prisoner’s hands and legs were shackled. Another corrections officer resigned after one of the prisoners on his work crew took a bathroom break in the woods in Pasco County and did not return.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement now takes the lead on 82 open cases

For a follow-up and more about this case, please see “Florida Settles Lawsuit With Prison Guard Whistle Blowers“.

Posted on 09/20/2014, in civil rights, Cops Gone Wild, Potpourri, Trials & Cases and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    SMH ….. had to be Florida!! What’s up with this unbelievable abuse by those on a position of power/authority?
    Something’s gotta give!!

    Like

    • Horty, there was a time when investigative journalists were the reason for uncovering corruption and other things. America needs more investigative journalists but sadly, most media only has”reporters.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Indeed … that’s one of the reasons I think we must continue to blog!! It’s here were the true stories are discovered & discussed!

        Like

        • Horty,
          The late Sherman Skolnick was an independent investigative reporter. It was through his work that corruption in the Illinois courts was discovered. John Paul Stevens was then a U.S. Attorney and he was appointed to prosecute the case, which lead to his appointment to the Supreme Court.

          Skolnick was so good that local media began painting him as a conspiracy theorist to try and impugn his integrity. That is what many independent investigative journalists face in response for their work that reveals corruption in government and the courts.

          Like

          • I don’t doubt any of this at all …. “they” treat us like mushrooms …. keep us in the dark and feed us “sh*t”!!

            Grrrrr ….. always blame/insult … assassinate the character of the “good” one!

            Like

  2. Two sides to a story

    Just like there’s a fine line between a competent surgeon and a serial killer, there’s a fine line between a correction officers and a hardened criminal. Thank goodness for journalists and activists. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg in corrupt Florida. Let the transformation continue!

    Like

  3. About time someone is doing their job. This police mistreatment has to end 👍👍👍👍

    Like

  4. agent provocateur

    Reblogged this on Nevada State Personnel Watch.

    Like

  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    I can’t bear to think of the excruciating pain Darin Rainey experienced as he was scalded to death. The torture……My heart is weeping.

    May he be resting in peace now in God’s loving arms.

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      I am praying that Light will vanquish the darkness…..that walls of hate, evil, and racism will come tumbling down.

      Let there be Light. Let there be Love.

      Like

  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    In this petition requesting an investigation into the 2012 death of Darren Rainey, the following is stated:

    Darren was serving a two-year sentence for drug possession and housed in a psychiatric unit. After his death, guards forced another prisoner, Mark Joiner, to clean up the shower where Darren died, including chunks of skin.

    “He was crying, please stop, please stop, Joiner said. And they just said “Enjoy your shower, and left.”

    http://www.change.org/p/attorney-general-eric-holder-investigate-the-2012-death-of-mr-darren-rainey-a-mentally-ill-florida-prisoner-who-died-after-prison-guards-locked-him-into-a-180-degree-shower

    The petition now has 203,349 supporters.

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Published on Jun 2, 2014 by George Mallinckrodt
      Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown, psychotherapist George Mallinckrodt, and Judge Steve Leifman discuss the inmate abuse scandal at Dade Correctional Institution with Michael Putney and Glenna Milberg.

      Mallinckrodt was the only former counselor at the psychiatric ward to come forward publicly about the scalding death of Darren Rainey by guards assigned to the unit.

      Brown broke the story on May 18th after interviewing the inmate Harold Hempstead who finally contacted the Miami Herald after multiple grievances about Rainey’s death went unheeded.

      Judge Leifman is an advocate for the mentally ill. He Chairs the Florida Supreme Court’s Task Force on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues in the Court.

      Like

  7. I’ll add Randall Jordan-Aparom, Rudolf Rowe and Darren Rainey to my ever expanding list.

    Like

  8. yahtzeebutterfly

    This all is so horrific…so many deaths.

    Like

  9. yahtzeebutterfly

    Warning, graphic prison video within this news report:

    A prison video shows the extraction team got Toll on his stomach and cuffed his hands and feet. They then carried him out of the cell to an unlit prison yard and restrained him with shock shields.In the video, you can hear Toll claiming he could not breathe. Minutes later, the 33-year-old was dead./em>

    Published on Nov 9, 2013
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered another disturbing video that raises questions about the treatment of the mentally ill behind bars.

    Like

  10. wow… US justice system never fails to surprise.

    Like

  11. so I guess the warden of this prison/killing yard is still enjoying his sadistic rule over the helpless. just as chief Johnson in Ferguson is still in charge of the army of oppression and death.
    every time I start to see a little progress there’s another backwards crash.

    yesterday i heard about a girl in DC who was beaten, kidnapped & raped while in police custody in 2013, she’s going to court tomorrow but I’m not clear on whether it’s a hearing for ‘her criminal assault on officer’ charges or what. #justiceforjulia is the hashtag on twitter.

    Like

    • Shannon,
      The prison system reminds me of the old asylums where the patients were treated like animals because of the prejudice that since they were mentally ill, no one would believe them. There is less and less value placed on human life today. Back in the early 1980’s, I heard it predicted that extensionalism was being taught in schools and through propaganda to reach that goal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Xena,

        I’ve look up the philosophical word “extensionalism” and got a slight grasp on its meaning, but not enough to understand it in your comment.

        What exactly was being taught in schools?

        Also, would you expand upon your comment so that I can better grasp what you are saying?

        Like

        • Yahtzeebutterfly, it’s a variation of the “lifeboat” survival where there’s a lifeboat that holds 5, but there are 9 people. The class is given the background of each person and asked who do they save? How do they decide? Participants are required to place value each person not only based on what they have done in life or their careers, but also how they might help the others survive. There are variations on the backgrounds and descriptions of the 9 people. Some include a paralyzed 8-year old boy who has to be fed.

          That theory is seen in some movies, such as “2012.” Overall, it says that some people are better than others and deserve favoritism, while the lives of others are not valued or they are a burden on society.

          For a real life demonstration of it, watch the reality series “Survivor.” The contestants do not lose their lives, but they form “packs” to survive and eventually, betray members of their pack. You can see them use various reasons. Since the reward is money, those contestants who are financially successful keep that hidden from other contestants. If it was a lifeboat situation, they would do just the opposite, making them worthy of having a seat on the lifeboat.

          Like

          • yahtzeebutterfly

            If I were in that class, I would refuse to answer such questions. Every life has the same value.

            If I were actually in the lifeboat situation (not in a classroom), I’d like to think I would volunteer to stay off the raft.

            (I just might watch an episode or two of “Surviver.”)

            Like

            • Or, watch the movie “2012.” With Survivor, you really have to watch the entire season to get to know the personalities and their plots. I’ve been a fan since the first season. The new season starts on Wednesday.

              Like

  12. ladystclaire

    Speaking of Eric Holder, whose name is mentioned above in a comment, this U.S ATTORNEY GENERAL, needs to step up the Trayvon Martin murder case of Fogen, plus, he needs to take the Darren Wilson murder case, from the state of MO. because the dirty prosecutor, is pulling an Angela Corey. He is also, on the board of the group of racist, who are taking up donations, for this murderer! He is doing all he can, to not get an indictment against, this buffoon.

    Every LEO IN THIS COUNTRY, SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED! JMHO
    ERIC GARNER, I’M IN NO WAY, FORGETTING ABOUT YOU, OR THE REST OF THE AA AND LATINO MALES, WHO HAVE PERISHED, AT THE HANDS OF EVIL, IN THIS COUNTRY. From those who commit these crimes, behind a badge, to John Q public (Fogen) they should all be behind, prison walls!

    This is truly, about as bad as it was, in the 50’s and 60’s. Other countries such as, N.Korea, China, Iran and Russia, just to name a few, are really speaking out about the hypocrisy, that is, THE U.S.A. and, it’s NOT pretty.

    Like

  13. UPDATE

    The Miami Herald has published its report on Rollin Suttle Austin, including a spread-sheet of complaints filed against him, and the results. I downloaded the spread-sheet that can be accessed at the following link:

    https://blackbutterfly7.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/reported-offenses-by-rollin-austin.pdf

    The Miami Herald’s article can be read at the following. What they uncovered is very disturbing. I applaud them for their valuable work.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article2185954.html

    Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      I also applaud the Miami Herald and Julia Brown for her investigative work.

      Hopefully the fired guards will not just vanish into other jobs and escape prosecution.

      I can’t believe the number….85!…prison deaths are now being investigated.

      Like

  14. Xena, “The Miami Herald began an investigative project into reports of alleged brutality and corruption in the prison system. Only then did prison officials begin to acknowledge the complaints”

    And ” Three years after Jordan-Aparo’s death, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement visited the Franklin prison to look into an unrelated wrongdoing and stumbled onto the circumstances behind Jordan-Austin’s death.

    Absolutely if it wasn’t for the Miami Herald report the rubber stamp agency from Fl that supposedly should investigate police wrongdoings and protect citizens from corrupt
    officers may be it get some heat from somewhere that suddenly is investigating
    deaths or abusers that were stamped as “justified”.

    The same rubber stamp agency re-certified SPDP hastily and offered employment to the fired chief.

    Like

    • Joseph,

      Absolutely if it wasn’t for the Miami Herald report the rubber stamp agency from Fl that supposedly should investigate police wrongdoings and protect citizens from corrupt officers may be it get some heat from somewhere that suddenly is investigating

      Amazing, isn’t it?

      Like

  15. Xena,indeed, as Rachel Maddow stated,wash,rinse and repeat.

    The corruption is indescribable.

    It need to be mention that Florida is one of ten corrupt state in the nation
    and the majority of the corrupt states are GOP.

    Like

    • Joseph,
      Don’t know. Illinois has put more governors in prison than any other state — but at least we put them in prison. 🙂 County and local corruption is another animal, and it’s mostly because of nepotism and favoritism that has gone on through and for generations. Recently, I heard of a county employee who outright violates the county’s nepotism policy going back 4 years ago, and he and his wife are still on the payroll.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This bullshit. 32 Guards- WTF

    Like

  17. naomickellogg

    Reblogged this on The Naomi C. Kellogg Blog.

    Like

    • Welcome Naomickellogg. Thanks for the reblog. Can you tell me something if you know? I published this post 2 years ago. It got so many views in the last week that I reopened comments. Do you know what caused the recent interest? Is there something currently happening in Florida with the DOC that the public needs to know? Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • naomickellogg

        Yes, prosecutor Angela Corey was finally ousted and justice is shifting in Florida. Plus, I believe people are becoming more awake to police brutality and are calling it out more and more.

        Like

        • Thanks for your response. It really surprised me that a 2-year old blog post would gain so many views. I’m humbly honored. I don’t know the source that started it recently so can’t thank them, but I am very appreciative.

          Are you aware of the Noel Carter case in Florida? That’s a case caught on video of an officer kicking Noel 6 times and beating him with a baton while Noel was sitting on the street curb. However, the jury found Noel guilty of assaulting the officer who the jury also found had no basis to retain Noel.

          Here’s looking forward to equal justice in Florida and our nation. It’s a long journey, but we cannot stop.

          Liked by 1 person

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