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BOP Agrees to Pay $30,000 to Prisoner Assaulted by Guards

On July 14, 2009, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by a prisoner who was beaten by guards.

On or about April 11, 2006, while being escorted to the Special Housing Unit (SHU) for allegedly assaulting a BOP employee, Kenneth Howard was tripped and thrown to the steel-plated floor of an elevator by Jamie Toro, a guard at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn.

While on the floor, Howard was repeatedly stomped on the back, shoulders and head by Glen Cummings, another MDC guard. The force of Cummings’ blows were so hard that a boot imprint was left in Howard’s back. Toro, Elizabeth Torres and Angel Perez, two other BOP guards, watched Cummings attack Howard but did not intervene. Howard was handcuffed be-hind his back during the incident.

Later, Toro, Cummings, Torres and Perez tried to cover-up the incident by failing to report the assault, and by falsely claiming that Howard became combative while being escorted to the SHU. The entire incident was caught on camera.

Toro, Cummings, Torres and Perez were charged and convicted for their roles in the incident. Toro was sentenced to 41 months; Cummings received 36 months, while Torres was given 15 months and Perez received nine months.

The BOP agreed to settle Howard’s federal lawsuit a mere seven months after it was filed, for $30,000. Howard was represented by Brett Klein of Leventhal & Klein, a Brooklyn, New York law firm. See: Howard v. United States, U.S.D.C. (E.D. NY), Case No. 1:09-cv-00096-JBW-RLM.

Additional source: U.S. Department of Justice

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Related legal case

Howard v. United States