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New York prison inmates reportedly beaten during violent interrogations following murderers' escape
Following the high-profile escape of convicted murderers David Sweat and Richard Matt from the Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York in June, various inmates were "beaten while handcuffed, choked, and slammed against cell bars and walls" by guards who were seeking information about the escape, a New York Times investigation found.
More than 60 inmates have filed complaints with Prisoners' Legal Services. One inmate, Victor Aponte, told The Times that he had a plastic bag tied around his neck by a guard and was choked during an interrogation until he passed out. Another inmate, Patrick Alexander, said he was threatened with waterboarding and had a plastic bag put over his head during a violent questioning that took place in a broom closet.
"The officer jumps up and grabs me by my throat, lifts me out of the chair, slams my head into the pipe along the wall," [Alexander] said. "Then he starts punching me in the face. The other two get up and start hitting me also in the ribs and stomach."
With each punch, Mr. Alexander said, the officers shouted another question.
"The whole time he's holding me up by my throat," he added. [The New York Times]
So far, one prison employee has pleaded guilty to helping Matt and Sweat escape, while another faces criminal charges. In total, 12 officers and the superintendent were placed on administrative leave by the New York State Department of Corrections. No prisoners have been tied to the escape.