Florida Inmate Starved To Death After Guards Broke His Neck And Left Him Unattended For Days

Prison guards allegedly broke Craig Ridley’s neck — Image Credit: The Miami Herald


After being wrestled to the ground by guards who also denied his claims about the injury, a Florida inmate allegedly suffered a broken neck and starved to death. According to the Independent, the deceased, Craig Ridley, was denied medical attention for five days. He died about a month later.

According to The Miami Herald, the 62-year-old inmate was injured after Captain William Jerrels wrestled him to the ground. The incident occurred on September 8, and Jerrels is accused of assaulting Ridley after the inmate attempted to strike him.

Footage of the incident shows Ridley notifying the officers about his potential neck injury. But his claim was rebuffed.

“Your blood pressure and all is fine. You ain’t paralysed,” an officer is heard saying. Guards at the facility recorded the video, and it was obtained by The Miami Herald.

The Florida Department of Law (FDLE) also determined that employees at Lake Butler’s Reception and Medical Center were unconcerned about Ridley’s injuries. After allegedly being assaulted, the deceased inmate was placed in a confinement cell and remained there without receiving medical attention. During that time, guards and nurses passed by his cell. However, they ignored inmates who expressed concern about Ridley’s condition.

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The FDLE investigated a video that showed an officer moving the paralyzed inmate’s head and allegedly making fun of him. According to an inmate who spoke with the FDLE, a staff member did not intervene after another inmate turned Ridley’s neck.


According to the FDLE report, a nurse and doctor who examined Ridley concluded that he did not require medical attention. However, the two medical officials made that decision without having Ridley undergo neurological testing. According to an FDLE spokesperson, the nurse and doctor are no longer employed at the facility.

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Eleven other inmates also reported to the guards that Ridley was not moving or touching his food. However, nothing was done about it. Officials instead presented documents with Ridley’s forged signature on meal forms to demonstrate that the inmate was getting enough food.

Ridley also suffered another injury when he fell to the ground while guards were putting him on the toilet. Medical personnel eventually arranged for him to be transported to the hospital for treatment. However, this was five days after he broke his neck and became paralyzed. Ridley passed away on October 12, 2017.

Even though authorities determined Ridley’s death was a homicide, no criminal charges were filed against the officers or medical personnel who treated him, according to the Independent. Ridley’s family has reportedly been fighting for more than a year to learn the truth about his death.

Ridley’s daughter named the secretary of Florida’s Department of Corrections, correction officers, and some medical staff as defendants in a civil rights lawsuit she filed last year.

Ridley, an army veteran, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting at his employer’s door during an altercation over salary. The deceased man was a kitchen worker in the prison at the time of his death.

Inmates who spoke with the FDLE said Ridley was “a model inmate.” In a statement to the Herald, an FDLE spokesperson said that the events surrounding Ridley’s death are not a representation of its policies and the department has “learned from [the case.]”

“This was an inhumane death caused by an abysmal lack of medical treatment,” Ridley’s sister, Diane Ridley Gatewood, said. “It was torture.”




Written by How Africa News

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