Lake County — Inmates at the Lake Correctional Institution say they are in fear of their lives.
Inmates say that a recent video, which was allegedly recorded from inside the correctional facility on a contraband phone, shows how they are treated on a daily basis.
Family members of several of the inmates have stated that this type of abuse of power has been reported in the past, but goes unchecked.
In a YouTube comment, Sandra Jones, wrote, “This is how officers act when they are off camera, all the time. Then they portray to the public that they are upstanding citizens who uphold the law. All of these photo ops being posted on social media, showing corrections officers and police officers doing good deeds. Cops running their own media shows nowadays. But when the camera is off, this is what is happening. Not all the time, but a lot of the time. This is no different than an officer planting drugs on innocent people just for kicks. It does happen, you better believe it.”
Some comments were in favor of the corrections officers.
The video was uploaded to YouTube on Saturday. The video was allegedly recorded on July 8. It quickly spread over social media.
In the video, you can hear inmates say that the beating had been going on for five minutes before the recording started.
Officials said they do not actually know what took place before the inmate started recording, but an immediate investigation was launched by the Florida Department of Corrections when the video surfaced.
In an email to Ocala Post, FDOC spokeswoman Michelle Glady provided the following statement given by FDOC Secretary Mark Inch.
“This video is deeply disturbing. We have zero tolerance for officer abuse or misconduct for any reason. The actions of these individuals will not be tolerated. Our Office of Inspector General has launched an immediate investigation. All officers identified to be involved have been taken out of contact with inmates and will not be allowed to return to full duty until a thorough investigation has been completed. Those found participating in any level of abuse, or failing to properly report abuse, will be subject to administrative and criminal charges.”
Glady said, “The identities of the officers involved in this incident are confidential while the investigation is active.”
When asked the condition of the inmate, Glady said, “Federal HIPAA laws prevent the Department from releasing medical information (Medical, psychological, and dental records, 945.10(1)(a), 456.057(7)(a), F.S., 45 C.F.R., 164.502), however, the inmate was transported to an area hospital following the incident for outside medical evaluation. He was discharged and has been moved to another facility while the investigation is being conducted.”
Officials would not say if the phone had been recovered.
We want to hear from you. After watching the video, what do you think?