VANGUARD INCARCERATED PRESS: Summary of Staff-on-Inmate Assaults

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By Angel Diaz & William Duclos

MCI-Norfolk – Massachusetts Department of Corrections (DOC) 

This summary is being offered in an effort to expose the ongoing cover up of staff-on-inmate assaults and misconduct. This is not the total list but offers a starting point of the most recent documented cases of staff assault and the DOC’s failure to act even when video footage provides proof.

November 3, 2022, Officer Christopher M. LaRochelle, 21-year veteran of the DOC, slapped Inmate Jose Rodriguez, W115850, across the face in front of other witnesses and staff. Immediately after being assaulted, Jose Rodriguez did respond out of self-defense. Inmate Charles Sierra, W111443, did put himself between the staff member and inmate, stopping the altercation and preventing an escalation. Charles Sierra has since filed an informal complaint placing his eyewitness testimony on record. Officer LaRochelle continues to work and receive pay. It should be noted that even though cameras are placed in all areas of the prison, the Main Line Kitchen (MLK) remains without cameras. In spite of a report detailing misuse of DOC Inmate Food Budget, it should also be noted this matter is not being addressed as a “Use of Force” which requires a higher level of review. However, Officer LaRochelle admits in his initial report physically making contact with Rodriguez which falls under use of force.

On or about January 14, 2022, Paul Silva, W99580, was assaulted (at MCI- Norfolk) by John D. Heinricher. This all took place on DOC cameras. Paul Silva is legally blind and the administration and the officer in question are fully aware of his disability and the assault that took place. However, there has been a systematic effort by Superintendent Nelson Alves, Investigators and IAU to cover this up. In brief, on January 14, 2022, at about 7:45 AM in Unit 6-2 Paul Silva was assaulted by a MA-DOC employee. Paul Silva was then placed into segregation and released shortly after. Paul Silva was walking down the stairs looking at his feet due to his disability. Going up and down stairs requires a lot of attention to his steps and movement. Officer Heinricher did barrel up the stairs, physically elbowing through him, resulting in Silva being shoved to the floor.

December 22, 2021, at approximately 9:06 AM Officer Tony A. Rodrigues did engage in a blind side attack from behind on David Evans, W108710. This assault occurred when David Evans was walking away from Officer Rodrigues, a 19-year veteran of the DOC. It should be noted Officer Rodrigues has been disciplined multiple times for misconduct. Furthermore, it should be noted that Officer Rodrigues is currently on no inmate contact, still being paid. The Internal Affairs Investigation is #19529. David Evans has also filed a formal grievance to document this assault #115268.

Mr. Cesar Santana was assaulted in 2021 by Correctional Officer Roy during an argument between the two directly in front of Unit 8-1. While engaged with Mr. Santana in a verbal argument over property issues, Officer Roy quickly motioned his hand, thus assaulting Mr. Santana with a slap across his face. Out of shock of being assaulted by this officer (Roy), Santana asked Officer Roy, “Did you just slap me in the face? Did you just slap me in the face?” Officer Roy, realizing quickly what he had done, tackled Mr. Santana to the ground. Mr. Santana has physical impairments, which require use of a walker and has used this for a number of years before this incident, due to a major back operation. It should also be noted that (2) cameras are located in this area. However, the DOC claims no camera footage was available in this incident.

The DOC continues to show disregard for rules of conduct and continues to cover events up in favor of officers.

The Norfolk Inmate Council has several other events involving cover ups of staff misconduct to include: Staff filing false reports as to being assaulted, staff filing false reports, staff labeling inmates rats in an attempt to have them harmed, needs programs being toxic and harmful to the order of the prison, and removal from work assignments as retaliation.

Documents and statements to support these contentions and requests for investigations are within the Norfolk Inmate Council files in all these matters noted.

We offer these incidents of staff on inmate assaults within the past months at MCI-Norfolk to reveal how they are negatively affecting the climate and operations of the prison.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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