Multiple Jan. 6 Defendants Taken Out of Cells on Stretchers, Court Filing Reveals
Treatment of prisoners called into question
Jan. 6 defendants were removed from their cells on stretchers, according to a Thursday court filing.
According to family members of Kelly Meggs, the situation began when one of the defendants refused to wear a mask,
The filing in federal court said guards began spraying a chemical substance described as “some kind of mace or pepper spray."
The family told Jonathon Moseley, the lawyer:
“They sprayed mace or some type of gas at an inmate and kept missing so it went into an intake that fed into other cells and the lady with the key left because she didn’t like the gas, so the inmates in the cells who were being fed the gas from that intake were locked in for like 15 minutes while it was going into their rooms and they couldn’t see/breathe."
More than one of the defendants was taken out on stretchers.
According to a report from Julie Kelly, a writer for the American Greatness, prison guards filled the jail with chemical spray.
The lawyer said his client was not in the cell where the gas was sprayed into the ventilation system.
Over recent months the jail has been under heightened scrutiny due to its holding of those accused of breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
One defendant, Christopher Worrell, was released last week after U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth became concerned about the lack of proper medical care he received from the jail.
The U.S. Marshals Service deemed the holding of some Jan. 6 detainees suitable but found conditions in another part that “do not meet the minimum standards of confinement."
Lamont Ruffin, the acting U.S. Marshal for Washington, told the D.C. Department of Corrections director he personally went to the jail and saw “evidence of systemic failures.”
Prison guards routinely shut off the water as punishment, while multiple cells had “large amounts of standing human sewage (urine and feces) in the toilets,” inspectors discovered.
The guards were also observed as antagonizing detainees while hot meals were observed being served “cold and congealed.”
Jail officials were ordered to transfer 6 percent of the inmates to the Central Treatment Facility.
Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) were able to tour the facilities last week.
Greene said she witnessed detainees receiving “very poor food” and “virtually no medical care.”
“I want to be very clear that we will deal with those deficiencies so that we have a safe jail until such time that the District is able to build a new one,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser told The Epoch Times in an email.
Director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Avis Buchanan, said tit called out the treatment of detainees at the D.C. Jail for years.
“The inhumane conditions have included long-term solitary confinement for people with no disciplinary issues, lack of running water, full illumination of cells for 24-hours per day resulting in sleep deprivation, cells soiled with feces and blood, lack of air conditioning during the summer, and heat during the winter, lack of proper medical care, failure to provide mental health treatment, and physical and mental abuse by correctional officers of people in their custody,” Buchanan said.
The Democrat chairman of D.C. City Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, Councilman Charles Allen, said the situation was “a crisis” during a remote hearing this week.
“I do not use that term lightly,” he added.
"The District of Columbia has a moral and constitutional duty to provide humane and dignified conditions of confinement and to do so immediately.
"And that’s not happening here."
Democratic D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine also acknowledged conditions in the jail “received little attention until they were raised, of course, by mostly white defendants accused of perpetrating the Jan. 6” breach, adding, “That’s not because people weren’t complaining.”