BALTIMORE - Five correctional officers, including an acting major, were indicted Friday for their alleged roles in the use of unjustified excessive force on a female detainee at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center (BCBIC) in January.
All five are charged with first degree assault. Eight correctional officers were placed in administrative leave in the wake of the incitement and the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Internal Investigative Unit (IIU) has been working with the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office in the ensuing month on the criminal case.
Thanks in part to tips called into the Central Booking hotline, Maryland Division of Pretrial Detention and Services (DPDS and IIU investigators had identified suspects within hours of the incident, suspending them from duty and notifying the State's Attorney, which began a criminal investigation.
Three of the officers placed on administrative leave have not been criminally charged, but all eight are pending termination.
“We acted swiftly because we will not tolerate any unjustified use of force against detainees, period,” said Wendell France, Commissioner of Pretrial which operates BCBIC. “There are proper rules of engagement when using appropriate force dealing with detainees. We expect our officers to apply these rules in a professional manner and only when necessary.”
The officers that were indicted were Larry Morris, 42, acting major, with 16 years of service, Kimberly Livingston, 31, with 9 years of service, Shannon Rivies, 24, with 5 years of service, Aleesha Edmond, 22, with 3 years of service, and Terrence Taylor, 23, with 3 years of service.
The incident in question began early on Saturday, January 8, when a 26-year-old woman was brought into Central Booking on a disorderly conduct and was being processed.
Investigators believe that a number of correctional officers used unnecessary and inappropriate force against the woman multiple times, and in several different locations.
The woman was eventually taken to a local hospital where she was treated and released with no serious injuries.
The incident was never reported by on-duty staff, a breech in procedure, including the shift commander, a 16 yeat veteran, who is one of the ones indicted.
“We cannot and will not tolerate this type of behavior, here or in any of our correctional divisions,” said DPSCS Secretary Gary Maynard, whose Department also includes state prisons and pre-release centers in the Division of Correction and Patuxent Institution, a maximum-security treatment prison. “Even in a very difficult environment, correctional staff must always act with the highest level of integrity and professionalism.”
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