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$25 Million Jury Award to Baltimore City Prisoner For Guards Setting Up Retaliatory Gang Attack

A jury awarded a prisoner brutally beaten at the Baltimore City Detention Center $25 million, after guards allegedly worked in concert with a gang and arranged a beating as retaliation for complaints filed by a detainee awaiting trial.

The beating left Daquan Wallace in a coma for two months, and now he has to use a wheelchair and cannot talk. The incident happened in October 2014, after three Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) guards cooperated with members of the Black Guerilla Family gang to set up the brutal beating. Wallace’s lawsuit claimed that the beating was in retaliation for complaints by his mother that jailers weren’t protecting her son from the gang.

Wallace’s mother told jail staff numerous times that her son was routinely beaten for refusing to join the gang, the lawsuit said. In response, staff allegedly moved him to a unit with the gang members, with more unmonitored areas to allow the beating.

Wallace claimed that when everyone went to dinner one night, guards allowed gang members to stay back with their cell doors unlocked, against policy. Within minutes, Wallace was beaten by the gang. Wallace’s cellmate returned to find him unconscious with blood on the walls.

A spokesperson for DPSCS, who did not want to be named, said the three guards involved were fired, but would not comment on disciplinary action taken or the outcome of the internal investigation.

However, after the internal investigation concluded, nobody was charged criminally for the attack on Wallace, according to a different spokesman for the department.

In 2013, state and federal officials said the Black Guerilla Family had effectively taken control of the jail. They were running a drug smuggling conspiracy with jail staffers, they said. Dozens of people were charged, and at least 40 were convicted. [PLN, April, 2015]

The century-old jail was finally torn down months after Wallace’s attack. The decrepit conditions at the jail were a “black eye” for the state, the governor said.

See: Wallace v. Mayor and City Council Baltimore City, U.S.D.C (D. Md.), Case No. 1:2017cv-03718.) 


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Related legal case

Wallace v. Mayor and City Council Baltimore City, U.S.D.C (D. Md.)