Former Mississippi Corrections Officer Sentenced to Five Years Imprisonment for Excessive Force

From:  News Release   3/1/19   GCN

WASHINGTON – The Honorable Chief Judge Daniel P. Jordan III, of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, sentenced Defendant Reginald Laterry Brown, 27, a former Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) officer, to serve five years imprisonment for violating the civil rights of an inmate housed at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF). Brown previously pled guilty on Nov. 16, 2018, to assaulting the victim, identified as L.H., by kicking him, stomping on him, and punching him.

Brown’s assault resulted in bodily injury to L.H. and involved the use of a dangerous weapon. At the time of the incident, Brown was working as a corrections officer at CMCF in Rankin County, Mississippi.

“A correctional officer who inflicts cruel and unusual punishment on an inmate in his custody betrays the trust placed in those who hold positions of power and authority,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to protecting the constitutional rights of every person and holding officers who break the law accountable.”

“This office will continue to vigorously prosecute those who betray their sacred oath and violate our criminal laws,” said U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi. “I want to thank our prosecutors, DOJ trial attorneys, and the agents who brought this man to justice. Without their diligent effort, these ugly abuses may never have come to light and this defendant would not have been held accountable. An abuse of power is an abuse of our system, and such abuses will not be tolerated in this district.”

“When correctional officers fail to uphold their oath of office and the rights of those they are sworn to protect, it undermines the criminal justice system as a whole,” said Christopher Freeze, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi. “This sentencing should send a clear message that the FBI takes these allegations seriously, and that civil rights investigations remain a top priority for the FBI.”

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Jackson, Mississippi Field Office. Trial Attorney Julia Gegenheimer of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Glenda Haynes of Southern District of Mississippi prosecuted the case.