Four former correctional officers at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center have been sentenced for their roles in the assault of an inmate and participation in a multi-year conspiracy to cover-up the abuse. The youngest officer, Jordan DeMattos, 30, pleaded guilty and testified against his co-defendants, resulting in a sentence of 12 months and one day in prison. The other officers, Jonathan Taum, Jason Tagaloa, and Craig Pinkney, were found guilty of assault and lying to cover up the incident. Taum, who supervised the beating and orchestrated the cover-up, received a sentence of 144 months, while Tagaloa and Pinkney received sentences of 96 months and 60 months, respectively. The Justice Department emphasized the importance of prosecuting abusive officers to protect the civil rights of all individuals in custody.
The Hawaii Community Correctional Center has recently been rocked by a disturbing assault and subsequent cover-up by four correctional officers. These officers, whom were entrusted with the responsibility of maintaining order and ensuring the safety of inmates, instead abused their power and violated the rights of an inmate in a shocking display of misconduct. The assault took place on June 15, 2015, and resulted in a significant injury to the inmate involved. The sentencing of the four correctional officers has shed light on the importance of prosecuting such abusive officers and upholding civil rights.
Details of the Assault and Cover-up
On June 15, 2015, a serious incident occurred at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center. Sergeant Taum, along with his fellow officers, engaged in a violent assault on an inmate during a routine transfer. The inmate, who was non-violent and posed no threat, was forcibly taken to the ground and subjected to repeated punches and kicks to his face, head, and body. This brutal attack resulted in severe injuries, including a broken jaw, nose, and orbital socket. What makes this incident even more disturbing is the fact that it was carried out by individuals whose duty it was to protect and care for the inmates entrusted to them.
Sentencing of the Correctional Officers
In a joint trial, the four correctional officers involved in the assault and subsequent cover-up were found guilty of violating the rights of the inmate and engaging in a conspiracy to conceal their actions. Jordan DeMattos, the youngest of the officers, had already pleaded guilty and testified against his co-defendants, accepting responsibility for his crimes. As a result, DeMattos was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison. Sergeant Taum, who played a leading role in orchestrating the assault and subsequent cover-up, received a sentence of 144 months in prison. Officer Jason Tagaloa, who delivered the most vicious blows, was sentenced to 96 months in prison. Officer Craig Pinkney, who participated in holding the victim down while Tagaloa attacked him, received a sentence of 60 months in prison.
Investigation and Prosecution
The investigation into this disgraceful incident was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan leading the prosecution. The FBI’s involvement underscores the seriousness of the case and the commitment of federal law enforcement agencies to ensuring that civil rights are protected and violations are thoroughly investigated. The role of Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan, along with the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section, was crucial in pursuing justice in this case and holding the correctional officers accountable for their egregious actions.
Importance of Protecting Civil Rights
The sentencing of the four correctional officers serves as a stark reminder of the importance of protecting civil rights. These officers, who were in positions of authority and entrusted with ensuring the welfare of inmates, abused their power and violated the rights of a vulnerable individual. Such actions cannot and should not be tolerated. The prosecution of abusive officers is essential in upholding the principles of justice and ensuring that all individuals, including those in custody, are treated with dignity and respect.
Civil rights violations, such as the assault and cover-up that occurred at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center, have severe consequences. These violations undermine the trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, erode public confidence in the criminal justice system, and perpetuate a cycle of abuse and misconduct. It is crucial that these violations are vigorously investigated and prosecuted to preserve the integrity of our criminal justice system and protect the rights of all individuals.
The FBI’s dedication to investigating civil rights violations, as demonstrated in this case, is commendable. They play a vital role in upholding the principles of justice and ensuring that abusive officers are held accountable for their actions. Their involvement sends a clear message that civil rights violations will not be tolerated, and those who engage in such misconduct will face consequences.
The assault and subsequent cover-up at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center has highlighted the need to prosecute abusive correctional officers and protect civil rights. The sentencing of the four officers involved sends a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated. U.S. Attorney Clare E. Connors has emphasized the commitment to enforcing civil rights laws and holding accountable those who violate the rights of individuals in custody.
The efforts of the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan, along with the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section, deserve recognition. Their dedication to investigating and prosecuting civil rights violations is crucial in ensuring the integrity of our criminal justice system and upholding the rights of all individuals.
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