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Former Rapides correctional officer pleads guilty to civil rights offense for assaulting inmate

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Posted at 3:19 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 16:19:06-04

ALEXANDRIA, La. – A former correctional officer with the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office accused of beating an inmate pleaded guilty Thursday, according United States Attorney David C. Joseph.

Dominic Davidson, 27, a former correctional officer at Dentention Center 1 in Alexandria pleaded guilty before Senior U.S. District Judge Dee D. Drell to one misdemeanor count of using excessive force against a pretrial detainee housed at the facility.

“Law enforcement, including correctional officers, are sworn to uphold and defend the laws of our nation,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph. “When they themselves break those laws, they violate not just the rights of their victims, but also compromise the public's trust in law enforcement. My office will hold public servants accountable when they break the law.”

“The Justice Department works to protect the civil rights of all citizens, including those in our custody,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division. “It is disheartening to hear of law enforcement officials who violate the civil rights of citizens instead of aiding in the department’s work to protect them.”

According to court testimony and documents filed in connection with the guilty plea, on June 14, 2018, while on duty as a correctional officer, Davidson entered the locked holding cell of pretrial detainee and began punching him repeatedly in the face and body. Prior to Davidson entering the cell, the detainee, who was completely naked and locked securely inside his cell, had been banging on the door in an attempt to get officers’ attention. In response to the banging, Davidson put on a pair of rubber gloves, unlocked and entered the cell, pushed the inmate to the ground, and struck him numerous times in the head and body. At no point before, during, or after the assault did the detainee pose a threat to himself or others.

Davidson faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to twelve months in prison and a fine up to $100,000.

The sentencing date is set for September 15, 2020.

This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Mudrick of the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorneys Katherine DeVar and Thomas Johnson of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

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