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Alabama Guards Accused of Excessive Use of Force, Hospitalizing One Prisoner and Injuring Another

Meanwhile, the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) has been under investigation by the Justice Department for excessive use of force and constitutional violations since the spring of 2019. The suit asked for injunctive relief against such behavior and an undeclared amount for compensatory and punitive damages.

Hampton, serving a 33-year sentence for assault and violating sex offender registration, and Rolley, serving a 30-year sentence for robbery, kidnapping and rape, were at Elmore February 16, 2019 when, after just coming back from visitation, ECF Lieutenant Willie Burks and guard Leon Williams stopped them in the hallway and accused them of attempting to retrieve some contraband from beyond the fence line. They handcuffed the two and placed them in an observation cell directly across from the prison’s shift office.

Williams told Sergeant Ulysses Oliver, Jr. and another guard, Bryanna Nicole Mosely, present in the shift office, that he caught Hampton and Rolley trying to bring drugs into the prison, although no contraband was found. After leaving to review security cameras of the fence line, Oliver returned to the observation cell with Burks.

They allegedly dragged Rolley out in front of the shift office window where the suit alleged that Oliver “began to systematically punch and kick [Rolley] more than a dozen times.” He struck Rolley with his baton repeatedly until Rolley lost consciousness. Oliver then dragged Hampton from the cell and beat him as well.

After Rolley regained consciousness, the two said Oliver forced them to sign an affidavit admitting to the introduction of contraband and threatened them with more violence if they told anyone of the incident.

The two were sent to Stanton Correctional Facility (SCF) for treatment. Hampton had a broken wrist, multiple contusions and required stitches on his face. Rolley, who suffered a concussion, also had multiple contusions and a ruptured blood vessel in his left eye. Rolley’s injuries were so severe he had to be transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The two filed the suit on April 8, 2020 against the guards present at the beating and ECF Warden Joseph Headley. They claimed cruel and unusual punishment and due process violations.

They asked to be recognized as a class for injunctive relief against such treatment to any prisoners in the ADOC and punitive damages for intentional infliction of physical and emotional distress.

Oliver has since pleaded guilty to assaulting Hampton and Rolley and faces up to 20 years in prison. Burks, Mosely and Williams also face charges for the cover-up. Headley has been transferred and is now the warden at SCF. See: Hampton v. Oliver, Jr., Case No. 2:20-cv-00742, U.S.D.C. (M.D. Ala.). 


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Related legal case

Hampton v. Oliver, Jr.