Louisville Metro corrections officer sentenced to three years

Published 12:14 pm Monday, January 30, 2023

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A former officer with the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections has been sentenced to three years in federal prison, for using unreasonable force against a detainee, violating that person’s civil rights.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky says during an October trial, a jury heard evidence proving that Darrell Taylor, 32, while working as a correctional officer, assaulted “B.R.,” a pretrial detainee being detained in the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections.

According to the testimony presented at trial, on December 15, 2020, Taylor was serving breakfast to detainees at Metro Corrections. During the breakfast service, B.R., a detainee with reported mental health issues, used insulting language in a conversation with Taylor, after which Taylor followed B.R. back to B.R.’s bunk, grabbed him, threw him to the ground and punched him repeatedly in the face. After the fourth punch, B.R. went limp and lost consciousness. Taylor then lifted B.R. and slammed him face-first into the ground. B.R.’s jaw and cheekbone were broken during the assault.

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“The defendant abused his authority as a law enforcement officer and betrayed the public’s trust when he violently assaulted a detainee in his custody,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division stated. “Officials working inside jails and prisons who abuse inmates and detainees are not above the law, and we will continue to vigorously prosecute those who deprive people of their Constitutional rights.”

“The defendant’s violent assault, in this case, was a blatant disregard of the civil rights and physical well-being of a Metro Department of Corrections’ detainee,” noted Michael A. Bennett, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. “This office will continue to thoroughly investigate and aggressively prosecute corrections officials who violate the civil rights of individuals through the use of unreasonable force.”

The FBI Louisville Field Office investigated the case.

“Corrections officers are tasked with the difficult job of maintaining a safe and secure environment in our prison facilities,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen. “When one officer abuses the authority placed in them by violating the civil rights of an inmate, it undermines the trust placed in all law enforcement officers. This sentence should be a reminder that the FBI takes all allegations of civil rights violations seriously and will vigorously investigate and seek prosecution for these abuses of power.”