Brinkwire reports: White Ohio prison staff are being sued for ‘knowingly and intentionally’ letting a white supremacist stab four black inmates while they were handcuffed to a table, according to a report published this week.
Two correctional officers allegedly laughed as Greg Reinke knifed the men multiple times in June 2017, according to a federal lawsuit viewed by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Shamieke Pugh and Maurice Lee, two of the inmates who’ve filed the lawsuit, say officers didn’t strip search Reinke as required and didn’t provide first aid to the bleeding inmates for more than 10 minutes.
All four survived the attack at the maximum-security Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, which occurred as they were playing cards at a table near where the attacker had been seated.
It was recorded on prison surveillance video that has since been viewed by millions.
The lawsuit alleges that the four inmates – Pugh, Lee, Dontez Hollis and Darryl Pascol – were strip-searched by the officers before they were let out of their cells for recreational time and handcuffed to a table.
Reinke – identified as a member of the white supremacist group the Aryan Brotherhood – was allegedly not strip-searched before he was handcuffed to a nearby table.
Guards also allegedly ‘gave Reinke a key’ or ‘knew or should have known that Reinke’ had a key or something similar to slip out of his cuffs, reported the Enquirer.
Reinke then pulled a homemade blade out of his sock before he began to attack the men.
The officers, identified by the last names Faye and Dalton, then reportedly laughed behind a closed and locked door, with one allegedly saying: ‘We should just let them die.’
Hollis was able to slip out of his handcuffs and tackled Reinke, which is when the guards arrived on the scene. The men were all visibly bleeding by this time.
Pugh and Lee are seeking $75,000 in damages and claim in the lawsuit that their civil rights were violated and that they suffered cruel and unusual punishment.
Reinke has denied the officers arranged the attack, but said they condoned it. He’s also ‘stated that he just felt like killing someone,’ according to a prison report.
The Scioto County prosecutor said he found no evidence of a setup.
Reviews of what happened found that guards followed prison policies and procedures, and no officers were disciplined, said Chris Mabe, the president of the union that represents the officers.
One of the inmates’ attorneys, Solomon Radner, argues that the guards’ conduct violated constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
‘I don’t care what the policies are. I don’t care what the procedures are,’ Radner said. ‘I know what the Eighth Amendment is.’
Prison officials wouldn’t say how Reinke smuggled homemade knives from his cell and slipped his cuffs. The officers’ union previously said Lucasville has since ended the practice of shackling multiple inmates seated at a table.
Pugh spent two weeks in the hospital being stabbed. The lawsuit also alleges he was punched and kicked by different officers while shackled a year later when he experienced chest pain and sought medical treatment from prison nurses, then was denied medical treatment for resulting injuries.
Pugh was released from prison in December after serving several years for burglary. Lee, now at Madison Correctional Institution, is serving a 10-year sentence on charges including aggravated robbery.
Their lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
Having video of the attack is extremely important to the case because it provides evidence in a situation that might otherwise be just the guards’ word versus the inmates’ word, Radner said.
He said he hopes the case prompts conversations about having corrections officers wear body cameras as police do.
Reinke was sentenced to 54 years in prison for the attack and then received another 32-year sentence for attacking a corrections officer just eight months later.
According to prosecutors, Reinke and a fellow inmate stabbed the officer 32 times, reported the Enquirer.
Prior to both attacks, Reinke was already serving a life sentence after he was found guilty in a 2004 shooting in Cleveland.
Recently, Reinke went on a hunger strike, claiming he’s being harassed by guards, denied proper recreation time and lives in a bare cell so empty that he’s forced to place his clothes on the floor.
He also alleges inmates who have been convicted of killing guards aren’t being treated as poorly.