AP NEWS

Prison system says inmate killed after rushing officers

October 7, 2019

BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — Officials are investigating the recent death of an inmate who was killed after rushing at officers who then used “physical measures” to subdue him, the Alabama prison system said Monday.

The state released limited information about the death of 35-year-old Steven Davis and did not disclose what measures officers used Friday at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Bessemer. The prison system said it will provide more information after the investigation is complete.

The Alabama Department of Corrections said in a news release that it is investigating.

The prison system said two officers reported Davis rushed out of his cell with a home-made weapon in each hand and tried to strike an officer. The prison system said Davis refused to comply with verbal commands and “the use of standard methods to disarm.”

“At that time, correctional officers applied physical measures to diffuse the threat in order to remove the weapons from the scene and secure the inmate,” the prison system wrote in a statement.

A prison system spokeswoman did not immediately return an email seeking additional information.

Davis was taken to the infirmary and airlifted to a hospital. He was pronounced dead at the hospital on Saturday.

Davis was from Graysville. He was serving a 20-year sentence out of Jefferson County for murder.

Alabama prisons have come under fire for overcrowding and understaffing that results in dangerous conditions for both staff and inmates.

The U.S. Department of Justice in April issued scathing findings that condemned Alabama prisons for what it called unconstitutional conditions, including high rates of violence.

Eight inmates have been killed by other inmates in 2019 inside Alabama prisons, according to prison system statistics and news releases.

In 2016, Corrections Officer Kenneth L. Bettis, 44, died after being stabbed by an inmate at Holman Prison.