Documents obtained by APR regarding disciplinary reports for Derrol Shaw contradict statements and narratives by the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) after Shaw created a “security incident,” according to the department last month.
On Aug. 13, Shaw was seen on Facebook Live wielding a gun and sporting a correctional officer’s vest after an altercation with a guard at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility. It was initially reported by APR that Shaw took a hostage, but ADOC said there was never a hostage situation and that is was only a “security incident.”
However, according to a disciplinary report, Shaw is being charged with unlawfully detaining a person because he held multiple guards against their will after forcing them into a shift office at gunpoint.
In the separate disciplinary report it states that “after having taken Sergeant Trenton Eads hostage, you then facilitated the taking of several staff hostages.” Also, ADOC has refused to acknowledge that Shaw even had a gun or how the gun could have potentially gotten into the highest maximum security prison in the state.
On Aug. 24, Alabama Appleseed’s Eddie Burkhalter wrote about ADOC’s lack of comment regarding the incident.
“It’s been eleven days since Derrol Shaw walked the hallways of William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility carrying a semi-automatic pistol, and the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) has yet to publicly mention the gun or provide the public with assurances that whatever security failures led to the bizarre series of events that unfolded on Facebook Live have been addressed,” Burkhalter wrote.
However, the disciplinary reports acknowledge Shaw’s possession of a black semi-automatic firearm. The question still looms of how Shaw obtained the weapon. APR initially reported that Shaw obtained the weapon from a guard after their altercation; however, that was incorrect. According to an attorney’s visit with Shaw, he was able to obtain the weapon after an acquaintance threw it to him a few weeks prior to the hostage situation.
Notes from a separate attorney visit also described assaults that Shaw endured after being arrested and transported to Kilby Correctional Facility.
“After he was arrested, guards did not beat him up right away,” the notes stated. “They first beat him up in the van they used to bring him to Kilby. A captain boarded the van when it got to Kilby and “got his licks in.” Mr. Shaw said “he hit like my little sister.” This was the first person to hit him. The second assault took place in a small room in Kilby without any video cameras, about the size of his current solitary cell. Mr. Shaw can’t tell which injuries are from the assaults and which are from before he was arrested. He is in pain, but he did not describe any specific pains or injuries.”
Continued Violence and Lockdown at Donaldson
Since the incident, APR has received reports from multiple sources that Donaldson has remained on lockdown.
“I need you to get word out that this lockdown at West Jefferson is taking its toll on the inmates here,” an incarcerated individual, who requested to remain anonymous, said on Aug. 24. “Men’s hearts are failing because of the lockdown, no outside recreation in 11 days Fights are happening daily and nightly, thankfully no stabbings yet. … The officers are frustrated with escorting the health care workers to each dorm to bring medicine to the inmates, also escorting the kitchen workers to the dorms to feed the inmates.”
APR recently reported that officers at Donaldson were allegedly refusing to open vent tray holes for incarcerated people despite the overwhelming heat in the facility.
On Thursday, APR was notified that Tommy Tunstall, an incarcerated man at Donaldson, died by suicide. According to a source, Tunstall was beaten Sunday and was bedridden until his dorm mate woke up Thursday to find Tunstall’s lifeless body. The dorm mate got Tunstall down and called for help but the lieutenant in charge, Lt. Murray, had Tunstall’s body moved which is against protocol.
A source told APR that ADOC’s Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) arrived and began reprimanding those who moved the body. These incidents all come just several weeks after Shaw created a hostage situation and got on Facebook Live decrying the constant chaos and violence that motivated his actions on Aug. 13.