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Edwards v. Beavers

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Paducah

July 11, 2018

KAREEM M. EDWARDS PLAINTIFF
v.
JAMES BEAVERS et al. DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Thomas B. Russell, Senior Judge United States District Court

         Plaintiff Kareem M. Edwards filed the instant pro se 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action proceeding in forma pauperis. This matter is before the Court upon initial review of the amended complaint pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A.[1] For the reasons stated below, the Court will dismiss some of Plaintiff's claims and allow other claims to proceed for further development.

         I. SUMMARY OF FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

         Plaintiff is a convicted inmate at the Kentucky State Penitentiary (KSP). He names the following KSP personnel as Defendants: James Beavers, identified as an “IA Supervisor”; Melvin O'Dell and Brendan Inglish, identified as sergeants; Jess Coombs and Anthony Hale, identified as lieutenants; Darren Larue, Michael Alexander, Nathaniel Deboe, Charles Conner, and Perry Sanders, identified as corrections officers; and Brian Neely, identified as “Internal Affairs/Correctional Officer.”[2] He sues each Defendant in his official and individual capacities.

         Plaintiff states that on June 29, 2017, while he was walking to the yard office, he witnessed a commotion and saw KSP officers beating up inmates. He states, “As I turned to leave the area, Sgt. Melvin O'Dell and Lt. Anthony Hale were running towards me screaming, cursing, and calling me racial slurs. I panicked out of fear.” Plaintiff continues as follows:

I then was attacked and beaten the ground with vicious violent blows. I was maced, then slammed face first onto concrete while in restraints. In the process of being escorted to 3ch/unit to segregation, “Sgt. O'Dell and Lt. Hale” continued to deliver their violent assault on me. Rec. Aide c/o Tucker instructed both staff to remove themselves from the situation, “there is no need to continue beating Edwards, this type is not forcefully needed, he is already restrained and calm.”

         Plaintiff further asserts that he was repeatedly “punched in the face/head with close fists, rammed into concrete, steel bars, and walls.” He reports that non-Defendant Corrections Officer Tucker instructed O'Dell to stop a second time. He states, “However, Sgt. O'Dell continued on his hostile rampage screaming obscenities to all wall stands, towers to ‘shoot and kill, get your live rounds out, and start shooting.'”

         Plaintiff states that once he was in front of the segregation unit, Defendant Deboe slammed him to the ground even though he was in full restraints. Plaintiff asserts, “He proceeded to kick, punch, and knee me in the back, and head, until I started bleeding from the nose and mouth, causing me to cough up blood. He told me I better not get any blood on him or he would kill me.” Plaintiff reports that he was placed in the “‘stripe cage'” and that when he exited in full restraints he was “attacked and beaten” by Defendants Deboe, Alexander, Neely, Larue, Coombs, and Inglish. He goes on to state as follows:

I was kicked, punched, slammed, face/head rammed into steel, concrete, then tased repeatedly with several taser devices. I lost consciousness a few times, collapsed to the floor, where staff had to pick me up to my feet. Lt. Coombs continually tased again, and again. C/o Charles Conner and Perry Sanders included.

         Plaintiff reports that he was then escorted to a segregation unit shower stall “where the above stated defendants continued to beat and torture me.” He states that Defendants Coombs and Inglish “observed” while Defendants Deboe, Larue, Alexander, Conner, Sanders, and Neely “started smashing, twisting, and contorting my arms, elbows, wrist, feet, ankles, fingers, neck, as they continued to try and break my nose and back violently with malicious intent.” Plaintiff asserts that, after he was placed in a restraint chair for several hours, “the tortured acts continued with the stated officers ramming my face/head into the metal shower stall.” He states, “I was forcibly held under running water” by Defendants Alexander, Neely, Larue, Conner, and Sanders, “as [Defendant] Deboe deployed shock after shock after shock, with the electronic shield device. I lost consciousness again from the continuous shocking and trauma, then lost control of my bile movements. The above smashing, twisting, and contorting my extremities would not stop, as my face/head bled.”

         Plaintiff asserts that he was then placed back into the restraint chair and Defendant Alexander “started re-shocking me with the shield device while I was sitting in the chair. I just sat there strapped/cuffed/shackled, as they/(he) administered this shock for minutes at a time in shock.” He states, “Nurse Karen Sue Smith came in to take vital signs, but was so disgusted that she said ‘I know you all did not just run water on him, then electrocute him, why is he all wet.' She then instructed staff to losen the metal cuffs, shackles and strapped contraption, so that I could have circulation.”

         Plaintiff further maintains that he filed grievances but that Defendant Beavers “issued disciplinary infractions, as a recourse of action (chilling effect) to deter my efforts in accessing the courts.” He continues, “However, after a lengthy and thorough investigation ‘headed by James Beavers, it was found that most allegation(s) I stated in my July 24, 2017, letter/redress were found to be true, after interviewing several staff witnesses.' The infraction(s) were given in retaliation and bad faith.”

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant Beavers violated his rights under the First, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments by “denying me access to the courts for redress/grievance, subjecting me to cruel & unusual punishment, by issuing several bogus disciplinary infractions in retaliation for a redress/grievance to the Commissioner/Ombudsman's Office in which punishments I had to serve.” He continues, “This defendant failed to protect me under equal protection of law, as a sworn official. He has made threats to my life/safety.”

         Plaintiff alleges that the other ten Defendants violated his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by using excessive force ...


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