Similar to police officers on the streets, violence between guards in jails and prisons is a crucial problem that has gone from brutality to outright homicide. As is the case with police violence, African Americans and other people of color are disproportionately the victims of abuse at the hands of prison and jail officials.
Last week, the shocking video footage of Darius Robinson’s April 4, 2016 death while in police custody was released. The 41-year-old father of seven was being held on charges of failure to pay child support when he apparently experienced a mental meltdown. He reportedly tore up paper and walked about his cell waving a blanket. In the video, Robinson can be seen sitting on a bench, two guards in front of him. Robinson appeared to lean or step forward when one of the guards, Allen Smith, struggled with Robinson and the other guard, Vicki Richardson, sprayed Robinson with pepper spray. Both men fell to the ground and struggled when Smith choked Robinson until he was all but motionless.
Warning: The below video contains graphic content which some may find disturbing.