Montgomery, Ala. (WRBL)– Today, April 8, 2022, one former Alabama Correctional Sgt. was sentenced to more than two years of jail time for assaulting two inmates at the Alabama Department of Correction’s (ADOC) Elmore Correctional Facility.
Court documents say Ulysses Oliver Jr., 47, took two inmates in an observation room and struck them both in Feb. of 2019. Oliver hit the first inmate with his fists and feet 19 times, and struck the second inmate with his baton 10 times. After this, Oliver also cut the face of one inmate after pushing down on them with the tip of his baton.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division shared a prepared statement on the extremity of the assault.
“The Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment, which includes malicious uses of force by correctional officers. The Department of Justice will hold to account officers who brutalize incarcerated persons,” said Clarke.
Documents also say the inmates were handcuffed during the assault, posed no threat, and did not resist.
Oliver claimed the assault was a form of punishment because he believed the inmates brought contraband into the facility.
According to a news release, the assault took place near other ADOC correctional officers who did not intervene.
Former ADOC correctional officers Bryanna Mosley and Leon Williams pleaded guilty in May and July of 2019 in connection with the incident. About two years later on July 21, 2021, former ADOC correctional lieutenant Willie Burks was convicted of failing to intervene to stop the assault of the second inmate because he was the shift commander during the assault.
“The actions of Mr. Oliver and his co-defendants run completely counter to the responsibilities and trust given to correctional officers,” said U.S. Attorney Sandra J. Stewart for the Middle District of Alabama. “Oliver knew that the use of force in this case was unnecessary and excessive, and so did the other officers involved. While I fully support the difficult and dangerous jobs that these officers undertake each day, my office remains committed to holding those that ignore their oaths accountable,” Stewart shared.
“Corrections officers are expected to safeguard the civil rights of prisoners,” stated Special Agent in Charge Paul Brown with the FBI’s Mobile Division. “These officers ignored their duties and must be held to account for their actions. The FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate violations of people’s civil rights,” said Brown.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Mobile Division and ADOC’s Law Enforcement Services Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Counts of the Middle District of Alabama and Trial Attorney David Reese of the Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.