Yes, I have posted several articles about the brutal, criminal, and senseless beatings of inmates following the riot, and the numerous officials who lie about it and others with their heads in the sand who refuse to PROSECUTE the wrongdoers, but “beating a dead horse” on the subject is better than seeing more dead guards and/or inmates. I shall continue to speak out.
Fortunately, my friend, Stephen Hampton, Esq. has a class action lawsuit pending on behalf of 129 inmates (including the estates of dead inmates!) against 66 defendants, which will bring more truth to light.
Excerpts from the Article:
New revelations about the 2017 uprising at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center and subsequent investigation seem to sneak out when public officials are put under oath. The trial of Roman Shankaras, who was accused of orchestrating the uprising and was found not guilty of all charges this past week, revealed that a new trove of weapons were discovered in the once besieged prison building.
The discoveries were rumored for months leading up to Shankaras’ trial but officials declined to comment.
Former Delaware State Police Detective David Weaver, who led the Vaughn investigation, testified that more than 30 potential weapons were found two years after the uprising in C Building. The building has sat empty since the uprising, and the Correction workers have been preparing the building for demolition recently, officials have said.
This trial also offered more first-person retellings of allegations of abuse by corrections officials following the uprising, a feature of separate civil lawsuits filed by former C Building inmates. Inmates who were not accused of having a role in the uprising have claimed beatings at the hands of correctional officers as they were removed from the building.
Testimony in a previous trial was the first time prison officials addressed those allegations and sought to justify them.
“I stayed until … they breached the building and came in,” testified inmate witness Warren Wilson. “I took the worst butt whooping in my life.”
Lt. Brian Vanes, who commanded the force that blitzed the building, confirmed in testimony in a previous trial that force was used. He said some inmates did not comply with officers’ orders so they used force to gain compliance.
Inmates in Shankaras’ trial and previous proceedings testified that they were beaten while complying. In the Shankaras trial, inmates also spoke about how they were intimidated by corrections officers in the months after the uprising, another feature of a sprawling lawsuit that seeks class action status against Gov. John Carney and other state officials.
In the weeks and months after, inmates from C Building were being held in maximum security units at Vaughn. Inmate witness Eugene Wiggins said a normal “shakedown” is a few officers taking the inmate out of the cell, combing through their belongings.
“They might strip you out,” he added. He told the jury that shakedowns were carried out in the months after the uprising by 30 to 50 men, clad in black, with masks, helmets, shields, sticks and no identification.
“It was an assault, not a shakedown,” he said. Lawsuits filed by inmates have alleged physical abuse, sexual abuse, unconstitutional restrictions of their basic rights and other forms of “torture” by prison officials in the months after the uprising.
Wiggins said part of the reason he spoke to police about what he saw during the uprising was to let officers know he wasn’t involved. He was later moved out of a maximum security unit that held former C Building inmates and out to the “compound,” a portion of the prison where security is considered subdued and inmates have more freedom.
The testimony raises questions about potential rights violations by rank and file correction staff as well as how top-level officials sanctioned or cracked down on such activity. Officials have declined to comment on testimony of rights abuses after the uprising citing the pending litigation.
In addition to raising questions about the specific actions of state employees, the testimony also allowed another front in defense attorneys’ efforts to discredit witnesses testifying in the Vaughn trials. Patrick Collins, Shankaras’ defense attorney, used Wiggins’ example as another reason for the jury to question the credibility of what he was saying. If he was being pressured to speak, is the evidence he provides legitimate, Collins asked the jury. “He makes another statement (to police),” Collins told the jury. “Lo and behold, out he goes to the compound. No more (maximum security) for Wiggins.”
NOT GUILTY: Another inmate beats murder charge in a Vaughn uprising trial Shankaras is the seventh person out of eight inmates tried so far to avoid a murder conviction. One of those seven, Obadiah Miller, saw the jury unable to decide on murder charges against him so he may be retried. Another of those seven, Jarreau Ayers, was convicted of lesser charges. The rest were fully acquitted.
After largely failing to secure murder convictions through two trials, prosecutors dropped charges against several inmates who were still awaiting trial.
Two remaining inmates with charges pending are set to be tried later this year.