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Supermax special ops team used pepper spray on colleagues during training exercise, lawsuit alleges – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-06-23 16:29:45 –

Members of a special operations team at the Federal Prison Complex in Florence fired pepper sprays, plastic bullets, and pepper balls at unarmed managerial colleagues during training, according to a federal proceeding filed on Friday.

The incident at the Fremont County complex, home to the Supermax prison, was two “inappropriate and dangerous” cases in which the Justice Department’s Directorate General of Inspection advised the Federal Bureau of Prisons to suspend some special operations training. It was one of the training episodes. Until better safeguards are taken, according to a June 2020 memo released by an office that provides oversight to federal agencies.

“We believe prison officials have undermined or abused their colleagues in ways that undermine or should undermine public confidence in their ability to do their jobs,” said four current and former lawyers. Ed Aro said. A prison bureau employee who was injured and traumatized by training.

Prison spokesman Scott Taylor declined to comment on a proceeding filed in the Federal District Court for the State of Colorado seeking unspecified damages.

The Fremont County complex includes ADX Florence, the so-called Supermax prison that houses the 9/11 conspirators Zacarias Moussaoui and Unabomberted Kaczynski, and other convicted terrorists, and two other high and medium security. Includes prisons.

According to the proceedings, on July 20, 2019, the incident at the complex occurred during simulated scenario training for a special operations response team known as SORT. The SORT team worked like the SWAT team, and members needed to be trained in weapons proficiency, building entry, and munitions, according to notes from the Inspector General’s office.

On this day, the SORT team conducted an unannounced simulated scenario training exercise that simulated the hostage situation in the administration building of the prison complex.

When the scenario began, prison officials Jose Arroyo, Heather Böhm, Samuel Cordo, and Amber Miller were all working in the office. According to the proceedings, the four were trapped in a small cashier’s cage with the other three in the office, noticing that a training scenario was underway.

“This is because the BOP policy for responding to hostage situations requires employees to establish safe shelters if possible and remain safe shelters until” all clear “announcements. Because of that, “said the proceedings.

According to the proceedings, the group entered a small cashier’s cage around 8:30 am. One woman was in the first semester of a high-risk pregnancy and the other was wearing crutches. They hid for the next two hours. According to the lawsuit, employees barricaded the door in a filing cabinet and turned off the lights when they heard movement outside the room just before 11:00 am.

Some SORT team members came to the office and told the employees in the cashier’s cage to go out, but a safe place without “all clear” or confirmation that the training scenario was over. The employee refused because leaving the office violates the policy, the proceedings say. Employees were worried that officers might have been “dangered” in the training scenario and intended to “hostage” them.

According to the proceedings, members of the SORT team were “more and more angry” when the group refused to leave, yelling at employees to come out, and cursedly trying to break the door to the cashier’s room. The lawsuit said they used a bar to pry open the cage and fired what looked like a pepperball from the mailbox into the room.

According to the proceedings, the people in the room were “more and more afraid.” One woman shouted to the police to stop and said they were “not playing a role.” This is a phrase that should indicate that they are no longer participating in the training scenario. Another employee began to sob, the proceedings say.

As the standoffs continued, SORT members fired pepper spray into the room through the opening of the mailslot. According to the proceedings, at least one SORT member fired a 9 mm simulation bullet (basically a plastic bullet) into the room.

When the small cashier’s cage was filled with pepper spray, the employee agreed to come out, unlocked the door and removed the barricade. The SORT team hurriedly pointed their guns at them and shouted for them to reach the ground. According to the proceedings, one policeman hit an employee’s face and another woman was pushed out of crutches. A SORT member fired a simulation on another employee’s chest, and a plastic bullet “burned out his shirt, leaving a bruise on his chest,” the proceedings said.

Supermax special ops team used pepper spray on colleagues during training exercise, lawsuit alleges Source link Supermax special ops team used pepper spray on colleagues during training exercise, lawsuit alleges

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