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Ex-AL Corrections Officer Gets Prison Term For Allowing Beating

Willie M. Burks III was sentenced to nine years in federal prison after being convicted last year for not intervening to stop an officer for beating an inmate, reports Burks stood by while an officer under his command, Sgt. Ulysses Oliver, beat the prisoner, and commented, "that's fair" when it was over. When Oliver turned himself in for using excessive force, Burks told him to report that he had told him to stop. The three other officers present for the assault at Elmore Correctional Facility have been convicted for failing to intervene.

The FBI and Alabama corrections department investigated the case. Federal law enforcement and correctional agencies have condemned the incident. "Those working inside our jails and prisons have a duty to intervene in the face of unlawful and violent conduct being carried out by their colleagues,” said Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute officers who stand by and do nothing while other officers brutalize inmates in their charge."


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