Two Tennessee corrections officers were accused of attacking a Memphis inmate on Tuesday; the inmate was wounded but recovered from his injuries.
According to the court papers, two officers from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Reginald Wilkins and Odell Underwood, are being accused of misconduct, oppression, and assault with bodily injuries.
At a press conference in June, District Attorney Steve Mulroy said that prisoner Damian Florez-Ramirez was harmed in a fight with Underwood and Wilkins back in May.
Mulroy alleges the cops assaulted him while he was being taken in handcuffs to the jail’s medical facility. After fighting a deputy jailer earlier in the day, Florez-Ramirez was reportedly hit with a chemical and hurt, but according to Mulroy, his condition is not life-threatening at this moment. No information concerning the assault on the inmate was disclosed.
The sheriff of Shelby County, Floyd Bonner, expressed his disapproval of what Underwood and Wilkins had done and stressed the need for punishment.
At the news conference, Bonner indicated that the jailers had been placed on administrative leave without pay but were not being dismissed. Bonner states departmental charges will also be brought against the jail staff.
It is unclear from the available online court documents whether or not Underwood and Wilkins have engaged legal representation to address the allegations against them. Florez-Ramirez has been arrested on charges of assault on a spouse and illicit assault on a minor. According to his court and jail records, Florez-Ramirez has not been represented by a counsel concerning these charges.
In September, nine deputies from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office were charged with murder in connection with the death of schizophrenic inmate Gershun Freeman in October of 2022.
In March, a video surfaced showing what seems to be Freeman being physically abused by prison staff after he took off running from his cell while naked.
Two more deputies have been charged with second-degree murder, and seven more have been charged with aggravated assault that ended in death.
Six of the nine deputies entered not-guilty pleas at a recent hearing. Three defendants did not enter pleas, citing an inability to pay for legal representation.
Bonner has pledged to assist in funding the defense of the nine police officers being accused in connection with the Freeman incident.