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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Dead inmate's family sues state for abuse, beating and then medical neglect



Exactly two years to the day that inmate Matthew Walker was killed by officers at Charlotte Correctional Institution, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed on Monday against the state, alleging that the Florida prison system and its private health care company were responsible for Walker’s death.

Walker, 46, was killed April 11, 2014 during a clash with officers, who had roused him in the middle of the night to order him to pick up a cup and a magazine he left out in his cell.

Last year, a Charlotte County grand jury said it was clear that the confrontation with the 6-2, 250-pound Walker was brought on by commanders at the Punta Gorda prison, who authorized a policy of waking prisoners, simply to "harass and aggravate them." When the prisoners inevitably became agitated, the officers were ready to punish them by forcing them into confinement — separated from the prison population —and if they resisted, the inmates would be gassed and restrained.

In Walker’s case, evidence showed that when the inmate refused to comply, the officers successfully restrained him, but continued to beat him with radios and stomp on his head with their boots until his throat was crushed and he couldn’t breathe. Story by Julie K. Brown here.


[Last modified: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 2:23pm]


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