Jury acquits 2 guards accused of violating inmate’s rights
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal court jury has acquitted two Philadelphia prison guards of charges that they violated the civil rights of an inmate as they tried to restrain him last year.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that jurors deliberated for almost six hours on Tuesday before rejecting prosecution arguments that 35-year-old Robert Berger and 43-year-old Nathaniel Morris had used excessive force and later lied about it on official reports.
The defendants leaped to their feet and hugged their attorneys after jurors left.
Prosecutors said the two repeatedly punched and kicked the 30-year-old inmate, a pretrial detainee, on Sept. 10 at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. Jurors were shown security camera footage of the encounter.
Defense attorneys accused prosecutors of playing “Monday morning quarterback” and “second-guessing” guards who were trying to defuse a potentially dangerous situation.
Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com