A pair of Alameda County deputy guards who orchestrated cruel feces-throwing behavior at Santa Rita jail will find themselves on the other side of the bars, getting sentenced to four years in state prison.
This truly revolting jail inmate abuse scandal out of Alameda County’s Santa Rita jail took place in 2017, but is going to leave a permanent stain on that sheriff’s department. Two sheriffs tasked with guarding inmates at the jail pled guilty to 11 counts of assault and threatening witnesses, over a grotesque series of incidents where they ordered inmates to throw urine and feces on one another. Both were sentenced to state prison Wednesday, according to the Mercury News, and will serve four years and four months apiece.
Former deputies Justin Linn and Erik McDermott weren’t even the only deputies in the department who were doing this. Two other deputies managed to avoid jail time for the same behavior at a January sentencing, getting three and five years probation, according to an East Bay Times report. None of them are on the force anymore, but Jesus, this is a really bad and unprofessional look for the department. They jokingly referred to the process as “gassing,” that is, making inmates throw bottles of feces and urine on one another.
“They (unlocked) my door, and that’s when I emptied the shampoo bottle with feces and urine up in there inside the potato bag, and slide it — slided [sic] it up and down between the cracks of the thing and gassed the guy and sprayed at his door gassed up the guy with feces and urine and sprayed him and stuff,” according to one witness’ testimony.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a statement that the deputies “directed, facilitated, enabled and committed sadistic and terrorizing acts against several men whose protection fell directly within the responsibility of their positions as correctional officers,” adding that “The conduct of these defendants violated the law and there was no rational explanation for their actions aside from abject cruelty and a disregard for the humanity of the inmates.”
This terrible story made national news in 2018 when one of the inmates hired famed civil rights attorney John Burris. The cruelty here was pretty unthinkable, and you have to wonder what it’s like in state prison if you’re a former cop who’s behind bars because had urine and feces thrown on inmates.
Related: Santa Rita Jail in East Bay Releases 300 Inmates to Protect Against Virus Spread [SFist]
Image: Jesstess87 via Wikimedia Commons