Capitol Riot Defendants Say They Were Beaten By Jail Guards, Left In Solitary Confinement

Trump supporters crowding the steps of the Capitol. Photo credit: TapTheForwardAssist

April 7, 2021

One of the men awaiting trial on charges he assaulted two Capitol police officers during a January 6th riot claims he was beaten to a “bloody pulp” by a prison guard — an attack that left him suffering ongoing seizures. Others arrested following the storming of the Capitol say they are being kept in solitary confinement, limited to just their cells for 23 hours a day despite not being convicted of a crime.

The Washington Post reports that Ryan Samsel, who is charged with “assaulting a police officer at the Capitol on Jan. 6,” alleged in a lawsuit that “two guards at the D.C. jail beat him last month, breaking his nose, dislocating his jaw and leaving him suffering seizures.”

An attorney for Ryan Samsel, 38, detailed the allegations in an interview Tuesday, saying he has been told the incident is under investigation by the jail and federal authorities.

“This is unjustified, and the way that these guys are being treated is completely unreasonable, it’s wholly unconstitutional,” the attorney, Steven Metcalf, said. “It doesn’t matter what these guys are being charged with. All of these guys are still pretrial detention; they have not been convicted of any crimes. And this is what they’ve been forced to endure.”

“I have seen Ryan. He has two black eyes to this day, two weeks later. All the skin is ripped off both wrists, which shows the zip ties and how tight they were,” said Metcalf. “Other inmates said his face looked like a tomato that was stomped on.”

“There is a pattern of abuse and of targeting of the defendants who are being held pursuant to what happened on Jan. 6,” said Joseph McBride of New York, a defense lawyer for one of the rioters. “It is targeted. It is ruthless. It is nonstop.”

In a statement, the D.C. Department of Corrections said the jail “takes the safety and well-being of all residents, staff, and contractors extremely seriously. We are aware of the allegation made by an inmate and it is under investigation by the Department of Justice.”

Categories: Politics

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