A correctional officer kicked inmate to death sentenced.
Former correctional officer Brian Coll of Rikers Island was sentenced to 30 years in prison for kicking repeatedly an inmate to death who was held facedown by other officers.
The inmate, Ronald Spear, 52, was detained for a pretrial and receiving medical attention in an infirmary at Rikers at the time of the incident in December 2012. Mr. Spear had diabetes, heart disease and end-stage renal disease that required dialysis and had to use a cane to walk.
Brian Coll and the now deceased Ronald Spear allegedly got into a dispute that inflamed Brian Coll to go into an outraged violent attack to assert his authority and position that led to the demise of detainee Mr. Spear. demise.
One of the correctional officers who held down Mr. Spear, Anthony Torres, cooperated with the prosecution to testify against Brian Coll as a material witness.
“He kicked him like he was kicking a field goal,” Mr. Torres told the jury.
Mr. Coll then leaned forward, pulled up Mr. Spear’s head and said,
“This is what you get,” using an expletive, Mr. Torres testified. “Remember I did this.”
Mr. Coll then let Mr. Spear’s head drop to the floor, Mr. Torres said.
New York City has paid $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit filed by Mr. Spear’s family.
The 5-year campaign to garnish a conviction displayed the corrupt structure and culture harbored within Rikers Island. There is a code of silence and don’t speak, don’t tell cultural habitat that fosters violence and injustice in many correctional institutions.
“You don’t snitch on another officer,” Mr. Torres told the jury.
Judge Preska recognized the “culture of violence and poor treatment of inmates by correction officers at Rikers.” But she said “no reasonable officer should have been inflamed” in the manner Mr. Coll said he was. “To find otherwise, in my view, would be to sanction this type of behavior.”
Prosecutor, Brooke E. Cucinella, said Mr. Coll had never shown remorse or taken responsibility for his crime.
“Every day that Brian Coll and the other correction officers at Rikers Island lied about what had happened to Ronald Spear,” she said, “justice and peace for Mr. Spear’s family was delayed.”
Source: New York Times
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