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Capitol riot accused alleges beaten by prison guards

In an unusual direct plea to the judge, Sandlin said another Capitol Riot accused, Ryan Samsel, “was severely beaten by correctional officers, [is now] blind in one eye, skull fracture and retinal detachment.

Sandlin also described the racial tensions between the minority guardians and the largely white defendants, some of whom have been publicly accused of belonging or association with white supremacist groups.

Sandlin said guards tackled high-level prisoner Richard Barnett, 60, who was pictured with his boot on a desk in President Nancy Pelosi’s office “to the ground.” Sandlin said one of the guards said, “I hate all white people and your honky religion.

The three defendants who sound the alarm are charged with a wide range of crimes related to the violation of the Capitol. Sandlin, who posted footage of himself smoking a joint in the Capitol Rotunda, is accused of arguing with several U.S. Capitol Police officers guarding the Senate chamber and trying to tear off the helmets of one of them. Samsel, currently on parole in Pennsylvania and wanted for an alleged assault unrelated to New Jersey, is accused of knocking down barricades over police officers, telling one of them, “We didn’t. not to hurt you, why are you our way? “

Barnett is accused of entering the Capitol armed with a stun gun, entering Pelosi’s office and putting his feet on the furniture, as well as stealing a mail from his office.

Defense attorneys for Samsel and Barnett have confirmed the episodes described in court by Sandlin, which they said they learned from their clients, family members and other attorneys.

“There is a pattern of abuse and targeting of defendants who are being held following what happened on January 6,” said Joseph McBride of New York, a defense attorney for Barnett. “It’s targeted. It is ruthless. It’s non-stop. “

Steven Metcalf, a lawyer for Samsel, said that after his client complained last month about the slow delivery of toilet paper, he was tied up, transferred to a cell out of sight of surveillance cameras and brutally beaten by guards.

“I saw Ryan. He has two black eyes so far, two weeks later. All of the skin is torn off from both wrists, which shows the zippers and how tight they were, ”said Metcalf, also from New York. “Other inmates said his face looked like a tomato that had been stepped on.”

“We intend to file a complaint against the two specific guards and the establishment responsible for this scenario because Ryan Samsel did not deserve to be targeted and treated like this,” added Metcalf.

Another lawyer for Samsel, Elisabeth Pasqualini, said her client was moved to another ‘undisclosed’ location earlier Tuesday and the episode in which he was injured last month was under investigation from the FBI.

A spokesperson for the prison system said the case was under federal investigation.

“The Department of Corrections takes the safety and well-being of all residents, staff and contractors extremely seriously,” Keena Blackmon, spokesperson for the DC Department of Corrections, said in a statement. by e-mail. “We are aware of the allegation made by a detainee and it is the subject of an investigation by the Department of Justice.

An FBI spokesperson did not say what the agency is doing about Samsel’s allegations, but said agents were made aware of them.

“The FBI is aware of the allegations; however, as a matter of principle, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation, ”the spokesperson said by email on Tuesday evening.

Almost all of the January 6 defendants who reached Washington and are still in custody are being held at the Correctional Treatment Center, a complex in southeastern DC typically used for prisoners with health needs or who need to be isolated from the general public. general prison. About 40 defendants of the Capitol riot are currently at CFF, defense lawyers have said.

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