VANGUARD INCARCERATED PRESS: Correctional Officer Assault

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By Lael Samonte

I am a Hawaii inmate serving time in an Arizona prison. I was transferred with about 1500 other Hawaiian inmates to ease the overcrowding in the Hawaii prison system. I am 69 years old and have been diagnosed with many medical problems (degenerative joint disease in hip joint and leg, diabetes, dislocated left shoulder, vision, etc.).

In or about June 2015, correctional officers in the presence of the assistant warden assaulted me because I could not walk on my own to my new housing about 80 yards away. The assistant warden refused to assist me with a wheelchair; both hands were cuffed behind my back. The COs knocked me down on the cement sidewalk, kicked and punched me. See 3 attachment photos of injuries to my face. Then the assisting warden filed a false charge on me. He and his officers said I had spit on him. There was no evidence of saliva and he said, “Aw,” and refused medical treatment for me.

On that day the cameras in the area were not working, and the footage from the handheld camera was damaged or destroyed. The county attorney chose to prosecute me. I hired an attorney and went to trial. The jury convicted me. The judge sentenced me to 18 months consecutive to my Hawaii sentence.

Saguaro Correctional Center is owned and operated by Corecivic, a private corporation.

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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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