Correction: Prison Guards Indicted story
In a story March 13 about a guilty plea by a former prison guard, The Associated Press reported that the U.S. Department of Justice said Christopher Loring said he and other guards sprayed a chemical into the faces of kneeling, handcuffed inmates. The Justice Department later changed its news release to say Loring said he failed to intervene when other guards used the spray.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Last former guard pleads guilty to hiding assault on inmates
A former Louisiana prison guard has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cover up officers’ assaults against handcuffed, kneeling inmates by four other officers
By JANET McCONNAUGHEY
A former Louisiana prison guard has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cover up officers’ assaults against handcuffed, kneeling inmates at a privately run prison in northeast Louisiana.
Christopher Loring, 27, of Winsboro, is the last of five former Richwood Correctional Center guards to plead guilty to conspiracy after being indicted in April. All five could be sentenced to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to a U.S. Justice Department news release, Loring said he failed to intervene when other officers sprayed a chemical into the inmates’ eyes and faces.
“The blatant abuse of power and the obstruction of civil rights will not be tolerated by the Department,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said.
They were indicted about six months after five inmates sued the guards and prison officials. The lawsuit said that in October 2016, they were strip-searched and questioned about tattoos, then allowed to dress but lined up, kneeling and with their hands cuffed behind their backs, and sprayed with Mace.
Loring was charged on four counts of the seven-count indictment: conspiracy to violate the inmates’ civil rights, conspiracy to obstruct justice, depriving the inmates of their rights by standing by while the others sprayed the inmates’ eyes and faces, and lying to the FBI.
Richwood Correctional Center is a 1,100-inmate, medium-security prison operated by LaSalle Corrections in the Ouachita Parish town of Richwood, just outside Monroe in northeast Louisiana.
Former Capt. Roderick Douglas pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the inmates’ civil rights, while the others — former Officers Quintail Credit and David Parker, and former Sgt. Demario Shaffer — pleaded guilty to plotting to conceal the wrongdoing.
Shaffer’s sentencing is scheduled for May 1, Parker’s for May 15, Credit’s for May 17 and Douglas’ for June 5.
Douglas’ signed statement, filed with his guilty plea, is the most detailed account of what happened. It said he used pepper spray on two kneeling, handcuffed inmates and then handed the can to other guards to use.
All five officers filed false reports to explain why the inmates needed medical treatment, the indictment says.