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Former correctional sergeant found guilty of Civil Rights violations and obstruction

The jury found Lorenzo Mills guilty of assaulting three incarcerated people with a riot baton and falsifying a report.

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A federal jury returned guilty verdicts on all four counts of the indictment against a former Alabama Department of Corrections sergeant for assaulting three incarcerated persons with a riot-baton and then writing a false report to cover up the beating.

In April 2022, a federal grand jury in the Middle District of Alabama returned a four-count indictment against Lorenzo Mills, 55, that included three civil rights charges and a charge for writing a false report. Evidence presented at trial proved that on Oct. 25, 2020, Mills, while acting in his official capacity as a correctional sergeant with ADOC, subjected three incarcerated persons to cruel and unusual punishment by striking them with a wooden riot-baton. According to trial evidence and testimony, one victim suffered a broken arm, and two others suffered injury, including pain and bruising, as a result of the beating. After the unlawful use of force, the defendant authored a use of force report wherein he denied using any force against the victims.

“This verdict shows that our community members agree that no person is above the law,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Constitution protects the rights of all people, including those in our jails and prisons. We will continue to prosecute correctional officers who abuse their power and use our federal civil rights laws to protect the rights of those detained inside our jails and prisons.”

“Correctional officers have an important and difficult job,” said U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart for the Middle District of Alabama. “These officers are tasked with maintaining good order and safety in our prisons, while protecting the constitutional rights of the inmates they supervise. Although most correctional officers serve honorably, my office will work tirelessly to ensure rogue officers are held accountable.”

“An individual’s rights do not end after being convicted of a crime,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul W. Brown of the Mobile Field Office. “The FBI takes any violation of civil rights seriously, especially allegations against those sworn to protect and uphold the law. The few who tarnish the badge and illegally use their official capacity will be caught and tried like any other criminal.”

Mills faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the civil rights charges and 20 years in prison for the obstruction of justice offense.

Assistant Attorney General Clarke, U.S. Attorney Stewart for the Middle District of Alabama and Special Agent in Charge Brown made the announcement.

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The FBI Mobile Field Office and ADOC’s Law Enforcement Services Division investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Counts for the Middle District of Alabama and Trial Attorney David Reese of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section prosecuted the case.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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