Correctional officer pleads guilty to civil rights violation, beating inmate

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A former Tennessee Department of Correction officer has pleaded guilty to civil rights violations after beating an inmate at Northwest Correctional Complex.

Nathaniel Griffin, 29, pleaded guilty to charges of using unlawful force on an inmate in the facility, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

The release says the incident happened earlier this year.

According to the release, an inmate housed in the mental health unit at Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville spit when Griffin and other correctional officers entered the inmate’s cell.

The release says another correctional officer said to “cover the camera” in the cell, and the officer punched the inmate 20 to 30 times.

Multiple correctional officers hit the inmate while the camera was covered, according to the release.

The release says Griffin knew the assault was unlawful, but did not attempt to stop the assault.

The release says Griffin also hit the inmate after the inmate spit on him after the other guards punched the inmate.

Griffin’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 13.

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