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Oregon Man Sues Jailers at “$17 Million Torture Chamber”

“My face [was] hit so hard that it busted my nose, shattered my teeth and broke my jaw,” said Chadwick J. Yancey, 31, as he described why he sued various Oregon jail guards for excessive force. “It briefly left me unconscious. I awoke to my face being ground into the wall.”

On April 9, 2009, Yancey was confined in the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) – or, as Yancey described it, a “$17 million torture chamber” – a jail serving four small Eastern Oregon counties.

The incident at issue was caught on jail surveillance video, which Yancey’s attorney distributed to reporters. NORCOR administrator Jim Weed said he is aware of the videotape and the lawsuit, but declined to comment other than to say, “People can allege anything.”

The soundless videotape shows Yancey sitting at a table with his hands cuffed behind his back. He was speaking with a female sergeant when two male guards suddenly grabbed him, swung him into the wall and then carried him out of the camera’s view. The female guard was unfazed by what occurred.

Yancey filled in the audio. He said he was complaining to Sergeant Brandy Drake about his treatment and conditions at NORCOR when guard Jason Matthews began to verbally provoke him, calling him a “punk” and other names.

“I told him that I felt like he was a power tripper hiding behind a badge,” Yancey admitted. “It was then that he flew into a rage, coming over and grabbing me out of my chair.”

On March 24, 2011, Yancey filed a federal civil rights action against Matthews, Drake, Weed, guard Jesus Pulido, other supervisory officials, NORCOR, NORCOR’s Board, the four counties that fund the jail and other defendants. He alleges that guards used excessive force against him and denied him medical care for his injuries. He also claims that supervisors failed to adequately train and supervise the guards and fostered or failed “to correct a general jail atmosphere of disrespect for inmates’ rights and safety and an atmosphere of impunity for abuses of those rights.”

Yancey is seeking unspecified economic and punitive damages plus attorney’s fees. See: Yancy v. NORCOR, U.S.D.C. (D. Ore.), Case No. 3:11-cv-00363-MO.

Source: The Oregonian

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Related legal case

Yancy v. NORCOR