April 7th – U.S. media reported that in Washington prison where many defendants in the U.S. Congressional riots case on January 6 were located, tensions between prison guards and prisoners were rising. Several prisoners claimed that they had been brutally beaten by correctional officers. Some even had been beaten to detachment of the retina, blindness and fractured skull.
According to the U.S. media Politico on the 6th local time, for weeks, the defendants of the congressional riots detained in Washington, D.C., have complained that they were confined to cells for 23 hours a day and had little contact with others. A defendant named Ronald Sandlin publicly provided a description in court on Tuesday (6th) that he accused the guards of violence, threats and harassment of prisoners. Sandlin said at an online hearing held in the U.S. District Court that he and other defendants were threatened by prison guards and did not know how to bear this “psychiatric torture”. Sandlin told the judge that Ryan Samsel, another defendant, was beaten by correctional personnel and now has a detinal detachment, blindness in one eye and a broken skull. Another prisoner named Richard Barnett is suffering from race and religion. Discrimination, the guards directly scolded him “I hate all white people and the religion you believe in”.
The three defendants mentioned in the report were charged with various crimes related to participating in the parliamentary riots. Sandlin is accused of smoking in the Capitol and participating in a fight with Capitol police in an attempt to seize police equipment. Sumsell was charged with overturning the roadblocks set up by the police, and he was also wanted on suspicion of unrelated attacks in New Jersey. Barnett was accused of entering the Capitol with a gun, breaking into Pelosi’s office, putting his feet on his desk, and stealing Pelosi’s mail. The defendant’s defense lawyer confirmed the circumstances described by Sandrin in court, saying that they learned from his clients, their families and other lawyers that the prison guards had committed the torture and harassment in question.
A prison system spokesman said the matter was under investigation in the federal system. An FBI spokesman said that it would not disclose how the agency dealt with the charges made by Samsell, but said that it had provided advice to the agents. The District of Columbia prison spokesperson and lawyers who dealt with such issues on behalf of the local government did not immediately respond to requests for comment on these allegations. At the hearing on the same day, the judge did not directly respond to Sandlin’s complaint about the prison, but said that he would hear further on Thursday (8th).