On Tuesday, a former Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) lieutenant was sentenced for assaulting an incarcerated person and covering up the attack.
Mohammad Jenkins is the name of the former ADOC lieutenant, according to court documents. Jenkins, 52, plead guilty on Sept. 12 to using excessive force on an incarcerated individual and for attempting to obstruct what occurred by lying in the official report. Jenkins, was given a sentence of 87 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Jenkins used excessive force against an incarcerated individual at the time named Victor Russo. Jenkins assaulted Russo at Donaldson Correctional Facility, specifically on Feb. 16, 2022, by beating Russo numerous times while Russo was handcuffed. Jenkins would also spray Russo with chemical spray, including in the mouth, and struck Russo with the chemical spray can.
APR reported at the time that Russo was found unresponsive in his cell on Feb 22 with blunt force trauma and died two days later. However, ADOC never investigated Russo’s death as a homicide despite Jenkins’ assault of Russo days prior.
“Lieutenants and Shift Commanders set the tone for less experienced officers whom they supervise,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Jenkins abused his position of power to commit an egregious assault on a restrained inmate, in an isolated location of the prison, over the course of five minutes. He is being held accountable for his actions, and the Justice Department will continue to hold accountable law enforcement officers who violate the civil rights of every American, including those who are incarcerated.”
Jenkins also confessed to using excessive force against another incarcerated individual named D.H. on Nov. 29, 2021. In that incident, D.H. Was handcuffed like Russo and Jenkins again struck D.H. and hit him with a chemical spray can.
U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona for the Northern District of Alabama criticized Jenkins in his role as a a correctional officer.
“Corrections officers have the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of those incarcerated in our nation’s prisons,” Escalona said. “The physical abuse of prisoners in violation of the Constitution threatens the safety of the entire institution, officers and inmates alike. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute corrections officers who abuse inmates and violate positions of public trust.”