Former Rapides Parish Correctional Officer Sentenced for Violating the Civil Rights of Three Inmates | OPA

A former correctional officer for the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office (RPSO) at Detention Center 1 in Alexandria, Louisiana, was convicted in federal court today of violating the civil rights of three inmates in his custody.

31-year-old Cody Richardson was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Dee Drell to 70 months in prison for each count to run at the same time, followed by a two-year custody release. Richardson pleaded guilty to three crimes on May 28, 2020 for using excessive force against remand inmates held at the RPSO facility.

According to court documents and statements made during the hearing, while serving as a correctional officer, Richardson berated three different inmates who were withheld and / or who did not oppose. Specifically, on January 28, 2018, Richardson verbally abused inmate KF while KF raised his hands, causing him to fall, and then verbally abused KF three more times even though he did not resist. On February 24, 2018, Richardson was anesthetized 15 to 20 times by Richardson while SM was cuffed to a bench at his ankles. After other officers handcuffed SM’s wrists, he continued to pursue him and kicked him once in the stomach. Finally, on March 19, 2018, Richardson inserted a taser into the back of inmate JA, causing him to fall to the ground. Then he sat on a table in the cell block and activated the taser four more times while JA hit the floor, screaming in pain.

“These types of civil rights violations by law enforcement officers will not be tolerated,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan of the Department of Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. “In these blatant and persistent assaults on inmates, Richardson abused the authority he was given as a judicial officer, undermined public confidence in the law enforcement agency, and caused harm to those he was responsible for protecting. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute officials who violate the civil rights of vulnerable inmates in their care and ensure that those officials are held accountable. “

“Citizens arrested by law enforcement officers have a right to be treated with fairness and respect,” said acting US attorney Alexander C. Van Hook of the western district of Louisiana. “Those in law enforcement who choose to violate the civil rights of those in their care and control must suffer the consequences of their actions.”

This case has been investigated by the FBI. Trial Attorney Katherine DeVar of the Civil Rights Division and US Assistant Attorney Mary Mudrick of the Western District of Louisiana are pursuing the case.

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