Jefferson County inmate transported to hospital after ‘altercation’, investigation underway

Alabama

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A Jefferson County inmate has been taken to a local hospital after an “altercation” at William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility.

According to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), inmate Robert Earl Council is receiving treatment for injuries he sustained in the incident at the prison.

ADOC has released an updated statement on the use of force incident at the correctional facility:

During the altercation, two correctional officers received stab wounds and sustained multiple other injuries. Both officers received initial medical treatment onsite at the facility, and subsequently were provided additional care for their injuries at a local area hospital. Inmate Robert Council and inmate Ephan Moore also sustained injuries during the altercation and were transported to a local area hospital for additional treatment. Both inmates have been discharged from the hospital to ADOC custody, and will be housed in a manner consistent with their security needs and recommended medical care.

The correctional officers involved in the altercation are in leave status and are not present at the institution. Today, ADOC Commissioner Jeff Dunn directed the placement of body-worn cameras on supervisors at Donaldson, and a structured review of supervisors assigned to the ADOC’s Level-V correctional facilities to determine if staffing adjustments are warranted.

The ADOC condemns all violence in its institutions, and any actions taken by inmates or correctional staff are being thoroughly investigated. Commissioner Dunn personally has reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Northern District Office and requested its assistance in conducting a joint investigation into the incident. The ADOC’s LESD also has deployed one of its new Use of Force Review Officers to lead a use-of-force investigation.

The Alabama Department of Corrections

Council’s family said he had to be airlifted to UAB for treatment. They say he has since been transferred to Kilby Correctional Facility in Montgomery.

Council is serving life without parole for a 1995 capitol murder conviction.

In video posted from inside the Donaldson Correctional facility, a trail of blood is shown. The man holding the camera said, “They jumped on Robert Earl. You see this. They drug him out of here.”

The man taking video said mace was used, and other people can be heard coughing off camera.

Council spoke with CBS 42. They said they haven’t been able to get information or updates from the prison on Robert Earl Council’s condition.

“You just get sick every time you see it,” said Brian Council, Robert’s brother.

“I still don’t know how he’s doing,” said Robert’s mother, Earnestine Council. “Whether his head is busted open. I don’t know if he’s in a bad condition because they won’t give us no kind of information.”

“We’ve got to make a change here,” said Irene Brooks, sister of Robert. “We’ve got to. These inmates are treated like animals.”

The Council family has been working with an attorney and plan to hold the prison accountable for what happened to their son. They said right now, their focus is on finding out if he’s ok first.

No other information has been released at this time. Stay with CBS 42 as this is an ongoing story.


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