“Youths have complained of staff turning them into hired mercenaries, offering honey buns and other rewards to rough up fellow detainees. It is a way for employees to exert control without risking their livelihoods by personally resorting to violence.”
This was a comment taken from the Miami Herald and perhaps what sparked an ongoing investigation into Florida juvenile detention centers where young boys are being brutally beaten and sometimes killed by each other with officers standing right by to watch. Could this be considered a form of police brutality?
Juvenile detention centers serve as a jail for teens between the ages of 13-18 who commit a crime. These young boys are detained for various infractions of the law. Some for stealing, others for joyriding. The fact is, many of these kids that are placed in these detention centers aren’t hard-core criminals but engage in criminal activity after being coaxed by officers.
One thing we are learning from a recent investigation conducted by Miami Herald reporters is that many of the detention officers working in these facilities are behind the brawls and fights that occur. Miami Herald shows footage of 17-year old Elord Revolte being kicked, punched, and stomped by several different detainees. At the end of the day, Revolte was able to walk away from the fight but died hours later from internal bleeding.
Why did this happen and who is accountable for the wrongful death of this young boy? What did Revolte do to deserve a massive beating that led to his death? Why didn’t any of the officers stop this brawl from occurring? Obviously, Revolte’s parents are seeking answers, however, they aren’t getting the ones that help understand what happened. According to the Miami Herald, nobody was held accountable for the death of this detainee, not
- The dozen-plus boys who ambushed Elord.
- The detention officer identified by a detainee as ordering up the attack because Revolte had mouthed off minutes earlier.
- The nurses who waited a day to get Elord to the hospital as he bled internally.
- The administrators who failed, despite repeated warnings, to supply juvenile lockups with modern surveillance equipment.
Why? According to the State Attorney’s Office, the poor quality of the video hampered their ability to hold anyone accountable. Hopefully, the family hired a police brutality attorney to help refute this decision as there is evidence and witness statements that can be used as support.
Elord Revolte isn’t the only detainee who has been killed or brutally beaten in a juvenile detention center.
Going back to the year 2000, there have been 12 questionable deaths so far in juvenile detention centers in Florida, however, that number doesn’t include all the detainees who have been nearly beaten to death.
Why are so many teens being harmed in juvenile detention facilities when they should be receiving the help they need to better themselves as an individual?
If the claims are true and detention guards and officers are behind the violence, these are the reasons why these violent acts continue to occur.
- Low pay and inexperienced staff
- Inadequate personnel screening and standards- Some of the hired guards are said to be “washed-up” as some lost their previous job for being sexually abusive, smuggling contraband, and sleeping on the job.
- Tolerance for cover-ups
- Faulty security cameras
To read the full coverage on the investigation and the findings, visit the Miami Herald’s site by clicking here.
While this issue remains just that in these juvenile facilities, many others who are serving their sentence behind bars are also subjected to mistreatment and abuse inflicted by officers. If you or someone you know was harassed, physically or verbally abused, or was killed during their sentence in a Florida jail, USAttorneys.com can help you locate a nearby police brutality lawyer who can help you and your family seek justice.