Inmates sue prison, alleging unprovoked beatings by guards

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BOSTON (AP) — Several inmates and former inmates of color at a Massachusetts maximum-security prison have filed a federal lawsuit alleging they were severely beaten by guards in retaliation for a previous assault on a prison officer by police officers. prisoners.

The lawsuit, filed Monday by nonprofit inmate rights group Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts, alleges that about 100 prisoners at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center were beaten, but black and Latino prisoners were targeted for “particularly brutal and degrading treatment”.

The guards used “extreme, malicious and cruel methods of force designed not to restore order, but to inflict pain, fear and trauma”, according to the lawsuit.

Prisoners of color were subjected to racist comments and slurs as officers assaulted them, and some officers displayed white supremacist logos on their helmets, according to the lawsuit.

The violence was in retaliation for a January 2020 attack on a guard by about 20 inmates, according to the lawsuit.

“This trial seeks to bring long-awaited and long-awaited justice to the many people who have been subjected to extreme and unlawful use of force by officials and agents in their care,” said the group’s executive director, Elizabeth Matos.

A spokesperson for the state Department of Correction said the agency is not commenting on pending lawsuits.

The suit seeks unspecified damages and asks the court to order a halt to the excessive use of force against the prisoners.

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