Today, the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) filed a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of two men who were beaten while handcuffed by officers employed at Georgia State Prison.
The Plaintiffs in the case are Shawn Andrews and Seth Rouzan. On August 11, 2017, they were subjected to beatings by members of the prison’s Correctional Emergency Response Team and other officers. Specifically, in their lawsuit the Plaintiffs allege:
- Officers removed Shawn Andrews from a prayer service and handcuffed him behind his back. When Mr. Andrews asked why he was removed from the prayer service, an officer slammed him to the ground head first, fracturing his skull, causing a life-threatening blood clot on his brain and breaking bones in his face. Mr. Andrews was airlifted to a hospital where his skull was surgically opened to treat the blood clot and a titanium plate was inserted to close the new hole in his skull.
- Seth Rouzan was in the medical unit of GSP for a psychiatric appointment. He was taken by an officer to a secluded area of the hallway where officers held him down on the ground, handcuffed him behind his back, repeatedly kicked and punched him in the back and ribs, and kicked him in his right eye. Mr. Rouzan suffered multiple injuries after this assault, including a fractured right eye socket requiring surgery, multiple facial fractures, a concussion, and other injuries.
“An officer’s role is to keep incarcerated people safe. Brutally beating handcuffed prisoners does quite the opposite. This behavior has no place in a civilized society,” said SCHR Senior Attorney Atteeyah Hollie.
The Plaintiffs seek compensatory and punitive damages, and seek to reveal a pattern and practice of excessive force by officers at Georgia State Prison. The lawsuit is brought against six current and former corrections employees. This is the second excessive force case that SCHR has brought against employees of the Georgia Department of Corrections in the past year – in August of 2017, SCHR filed a lawsuit on behalf of inmates at August State Medical Prison, alleging that the Georgia Department of Correction’s guards used excessive force routinely.
The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Statesboro. Read the filing here.