Two Former Tennessee Corrections Officers Plead Guilty to Civil Rights Violation and Lying
|U.S. Department of Justice November 23, 2009|
WASHINGTON—Joshua Ryan Jones, 24, and Roger Forrester, 40, former corrections officers at the Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tenn., pleaded guilty today in federal court in Jackson, Tenn., to violating the civil rights of an inmate and then lying about it during state and federal investigations, the Justice Department announced today.
During their guilty pleas, Jones and Forrester admitted that on April 15, 2008, while working as a corrections officers at the Northwest Correctional Complex, they used unreasonable force when Jones repeatedly kicked and Forrester repeatedly punched a handcuffed inmate without provocation. Both defendants agreed that their assaults violated the inmate’s constitutional right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment by law enforcement officers. Additionally, Jones and Forrester admitted that they obstructed justice when they provided false information about the incident to federal investigators.
Jones and Forrester face a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a maximum fine of $350,000.
“Law enforcement officers are entrusted with great power so that they can protect public safety. Those who abuse the power they are granted by violating the civil rights of individuals under their supervision will be brought to justice,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
Today’s plea resulted from the investigative work of the FBI and the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section. The case is being prosecuted by Civil Rights Division Trial Attorneys Jared Fishman and Chris Lomax.