From [HERE] Intending to send a “reality check” across the Florida prison system, a federal judge sentenced a high-ranking white correctional officer to spend five years in prison for falsifying reports related to the brutal beating of an inmate. [the reality is that most racists consciously or subconsciously understand the following and do not want to be replaced;
- White plus Black equals Colored.
- White plus Brown equals Colored.
- White plus Yellow equals Colored. MORE]
Former Maj. Michael Baxter, 50, stared blankly ahead Thursday as the sentence was read aloud. He was convicted in January of falsifying records related to the July 2015 beating of inmate Darren Glover, 44, at Apalachee Correctional Institution, 52 W. Unit Drive in Sneads, which authorities claimed stemmed from an interracial jailhouse wedding. As a means to deter Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) officers from attempting to cover up beatings with false reports in the future, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle went above the sentencing guidelines and condemned Baxter to spend 60 months in federal prison followed by a year of probation.
“People at DOC have an enormously difficult job: it’s difficult work under difficult circumstances,” Hinkle said in court, noting that he also has presided over inmate-perpetrated assaults. “It’s a different situation when officers assault inmates. It doesn’t make the situation better. It makes it substantially worse.”
Hinkle told the courtroom that while a jury found Baxter did not use excessive force in the beating, he saw otherwise. As an aggravator, Baxter was a supervisor and had subordinate officers conspire to establish the beating was justified.
″(Glover) did not assault Baxter — Baxter came from behind his desk and willfully inflicted brutal force and caused Glover serious injury,” Hinkle said. “Then he falsified reports and induced others to file false reports. Every step is serious misconduct.” [MORE]
Hospital staff have a protocol of keeping a prisoner patient’s door shut. But in the four days after accepting inmate Darren Glover into the ICU on July 13, 2015, they diverged from that protocol out of fear they wouldn’t reach him in time if he flat-lined.
After his release less than a week later, his eyes still swollen shut from being severely beaten by correction officers at Apalachee Correctional Institute, he was moved to a solitary concrete box at Florida State Prison — where conditions are considered to be worse than those for death row inmates — for “maximum management” as part of his punishment based on the reports the officers wrote after the beating. More than 100 summer days passed before Glover was transferred to a lower level of confinement — though still in closed management — where he remained until this January, when a jury found that the guard charged in the beating falsified his report.
In that time, a technicality caused his interracial marriage, which had led to the beating, to become official. However, Darren and Jennifer Glover had to wait more than two years before they could have their first kiss as husband and wife.
“That’s a long time to be in confinement for something you didn’t do,” Jennifer Glover said. “We had to talk through glass. We weren’t allowed to be in the same room or hold hands or have a meal together like normal visiting couples. And we couldn’t kiss — until the verdict came down.”
Jennifer Glover recently sat down for an interview with The News Herald to discuss the events leading up to what the indictment described as a racially motivated beating, the punishment her husband endured as result of falsified use-of-force reports, and the trauma the two still live with as they await Darren Glover’s release from prison in 2019.
A $40 crack deal landed Darren Glover in prison in 2007. It was his second narcotics-related conviction, and he also had a firearm. As a convicted felon, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
He and Jennifer, who had known each other since high school and were dating at the time of his arrest, decided to get married while Darren was incarcerated for practical reasons: a wife can get more access to an inmate than a girlfriend. But she didn’t realize the degree of pushback the couple would receive for being different races.
“It was a common theme,” Jennifer Glover said of the culture of racism she saw, noting that she didn’t think it would eventually lead to physical violence. “And the day before the wedding, we were warned. One officer told us a lot of people don’t want to see us married. I would’ve backed down if I knew (Darren) would be in danger.”
A day before the beating, the couple was shooting wedding photos in the visitation yard. Jennifer Glover said she had been flirtatiously trying to get Darren to smile for the camera when she overheard an officer say, “I don’t want to see that (expletive).” An officer also issued Darren a complaint for his shoes being loose during the photo shoot.
The couple brushed it off, but the next morning, July 13, 2015 — moments before the Glovers were scheduled to get married — Baxter called Darren Glover to his office to discuss the loose shoes. There, Baxter head-butted Darren Glover, and then officers held him down while Baxter repeatedly kicked him in the face, according to government witnesses.
Despite the bride-to-be waiting in the lobby at the time, officers did not tell Jennifer Glover about the events, saying only that the wedding would not take place. As her fiancée was taken to ICU, Jennifer Glover was also not made aware of the critical nature of his injuries until a couple of inmates called her late the following day. She couldn’t reach Darren, but hospital staff relayed his condition.
“The nurse cried when she was telling me about his injuries,” Jennifer Glover said.
In maximum management after leaving ICU, Darren Glover couldn’t see for nine days. He lost 40 pounds in the 101 total days of isolation. Jennifer Glover made a plea for mercy to the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC), which eventually worked, but it would be just the first in a string of battles to have the wrongs of the beating righted.
Ultimately, Baxter was convicted in January of this year for falsifying reports that led to Darren Glover’s confinement. A jury found that he did not use excessive force, though. Shortly after the verdict, FDOC began the process of reversing some of the damage.
In an almost unprecedented move, FDOC reversed Baxter’s battery on an officer reports and restored Darren Glover’s gain time of a year and a half that had been taken away as a result of the allegations.
Jennifer Glover said she repeatedly told Darren that if the officers tried to provoke him, do not resist, and she would get justice for him. When he was finally able to talk on the phone, Darren told her he kept repeating that to himself during the beating.
“The only thing he said was that he didn’t do anything,” Jennifer Glover said. “He just fell to the ground and put his arms by his sides.”
Jennifer Glover said her husband still has scars and vision problems from the beating, but the damage lingers below the surface as well. She said Darren’s spirit was changed by not defending himself during the beating, and he still has flashbacks. The trauma also has had an impact on their relationship.
“I’m scared to hold his hand or show him any affection, because I don’t want the officers to do anything,” Jennifer Glover said. “The last time I kissed him, he got beat.”
The beating isn’t the first of its kind for correction officers at nearby prisons. U.S. District Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Christopher Canova, whose office has been prosecuting the cases, declined to comment on the topic.
However, Mike Stone, chair of the Bay County American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said inmate beatings perpetrated by officers violates two Constitutional Amendments — the Eighth, which protects people from enduring cruel and unusual punishment, and the Fifth, which guard against the deprivation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without due process.
“When an officer beats an inmate, he deprives him of due process,” Stone said.
Stone said a prison sentence is meant to be a debt for a prisoner to pay before being released. The act of beating an inmate sends the message that prisoners have no human value, and they carry that with them once they are released. Stone advised policy makers should look at the European penal system, where he said shorter sentences and less harsh conditions foster a safer environment for guards and prisoners alike. [MORE]