Former major at Angola convicted of beating shackled, handcuffed inmate

Former major at Angola convicted of beating shackled, handcuffed inmate
Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola (Source: WAFB)

ANGOLA, LA (WAFB) - A former major as Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola, was found guilty Thursday in federal court for beating an inmate who was shackled, handcuffed, and not resisting.

In a previous trial, Daniel Davis, 41, was convicted of conspiring with other officers to cover up the incident by creating a cover up story, submitting false reports, tampering with witnesses, and lying under oath. The four other former officers involved, Capt. James Savoy, Capt. John Sanders, Capt. Scotty Kennedy, and Sgt. Willie Thomas, all pleaded guilty for their roles in the beating. At The Department of Justice (DOJ) says at Davis' trial, Sanders and Kennedy testified for the government and described the abuse and cover up.

After hearing testimony for three days, the jury convicted Davis of depriving the inmate of his right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The DOJ says evidence showed Davis initiated the beating by yanking on the inmate’s leg chains, causing him to fall face first onto the concrete. At that point, Davis and the other officers punched, kicked, and stomped on the inmate, leaving him with a gash below his eye, a dislocated shoulder, broken ribs, and a collapsed lung.

“Mr. Davis abused the justice system by beating an inmate, writing false reports, and using his influence and power as a corrections officer to encourage other to lie. The Justice Department will continue to prosecute correctional officers who violate federal criminal law,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.

“Corrections officers are given great authority and power in our system because public safety depends on them doing their jobs well,” said Louisiana Inspector General Stephen Street. “When those corrections officers commit crimes by choosing to abuse their power, as defendant Davis did in this case, they must be held accountable, or public trust in the system suffers. The jury’s guilty verdict should send a clear message that we have zero tolerance for it and will continue to aggressively pursue these cases whenever and wherever they may arise. I wish to thank the FBI, United States Attorney Brandon Fremin, and the prosecutors from the DOJ Civil Rights Division for their outstanding work on this case.”

A sentencing date for Davis has not yet been set. He faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail for the conspiracy and perjury charges, ten years for excessive force, and 20 years on each of the obstruction charges.

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