TIPTONVILLE, Tenn. (WMC) - A Tennessee correctional officer has pleaded guilty to beating an inmate.
Nathaniel Griffin admitted to using unlawful force on an inmate while he was serving as a correctional officer with the Tennessee Department of Corrections.
In February, Griffin and four other correctional officers entered the cell of an inmate in the mental health unit at the Northwest County Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, Tennessee.
The inmate spit and then remained seated on a bench, with his arms by his sides.
One of the correctional officers looked in the direction of the surveillance camera in the cell and said, “Cover the camera.”
Another officer proceeded to cover the camera with his hand. When the camera was covered, one of the officers repeatedly punched the inmate while he remained seated.
Griffin said the officer hit the inmate between 20-30 times.
At some point, the officer stopped hitting the inmate, looked back at another officer and said, “Get you some.”
The officers beat the inmate until he started bleeding.
During the assault, the inmate continued to sit on the bench and cover his face and head with his hands. After the officers stopped punching him, the inmate spit on Griffin’s chest and arm.
Griffin punched him multiple times, then left the cell. Outside of the cell, Griffin spoke with the officers and corporal.
The corporal, who was the ranking officer, told the other officers that they should come up with a false cover story about what happened.
The maximum penalty for this civil rights offense is 10 years imprisonment.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 13.