Prisons

Florida Will Pay Out $4.6 Million to Female Inmate Paralyzed After Guard Beating

Cheryl Weimar's case put a gruesome spotlight on Florida's troubled prison system.

|

The state of Florida will pay out $4.65 million to settle a civil rights lawsuit filed by Cheryl Weimar, a state prison inmate who was paralyzed from the neck down after a brutal beating by guards last September.

The Miami Herald reports that the payout could be the largest settlement ever by the state in a prison abuse case. (In 2018, the state paid $4.5 million to the family of Darren Rainey, a mentally ill Florida inmate who was boiled to death in a rigged shower by two guards).

The settlement agreement closes the book, at least on the civil side, on a case that put a gruesome spotlight on Florida's troubled prison system, and specifically ongoing allegations of brutality and abuse at Lowell Correctional Institution, the state's largest women's prison.

According to Weimar's lawsuit, she complained to a guard on Aug. 21 of last year, saying she couldn't clean toilets because of pain from a pre-existing hip condition. This led to a confrontation with two Lowell correctional officers. Weimar, who has a history of mental illness, tried to declare a psychological emergency. Under department policy, the guards should have called for medical personnel.

Instead, her lawsuit alleged, the guards slammed her to the ground and began beating her. At least one guard elbowed the back of her neck, the suit said. Guards then dragged Weimar "like a rag doll" to an area not covered by surveillance cameras and continued beating her nearly to death.

For the past year, she has been confined to a hospital bed, paralyzed from the neck down, and dependent on feeding tubes.

Internal Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) incident reports showed that Keith Turner, one of the guards allegedly involved in the beating, had a long history of complaints against him alleging excessive force, verbal and physical abuse, and trading contraband cigarettes for oral sex. Turner was later arrested on charges of molesting two minors and fired from the FDOC. The other correctional officer named in the lawsuit was reassigned and remains employed at the department.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FLDE) and the FDOC Office of the Inspector General both launched investigations into Weimar's beating. The FDLE investigation is still ongoing, according to a department spokesperson.

In 2018, the Justice Department launched a civil rights investigation into pervasive misconduct and sexual assaults by correctional staff at Lowell. A 2015 Miami Herald investigation found numerous accusations of assaults, retaliation, filthy conditions, inadequate healthcare, and suspicious deaths at the prison, as well as "an inadequate number of cameras," which allows guards to hide brutality.

NEXT: Melania Trump Wows With Lackluster Speech on Second Night of Republican National Convention

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Attempted murder. Put them in general population and let everyone know how they were employed before they got there. Problem should resolve itself in short order.

    1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…CMs after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier.

      Here’s what I do……….> Click here

      1. Make money online from home extra cash more than $18k to $21k. Start getting paid every month Thousands Dollars online. I have received $26K in this month by just working online from home in my part time.CGV every person easily do this job by just open this link and
        follow details

        on this page to get started……….Money90

    2. I’m down with that. I’m a strong believer in immediate and appropriate (and correct!) punishment being far better than long drawn-out trials and decades in jail as deterrents. This guy needs to be locked away from the public in any case, seeing as how just being with the public even as a 7-11 clerk would probably not keep him from being just as sadistic.

    3. ●▬▬▬▬PART TIME JOBS▬▬▬▬▬●
       
      I am making $165 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now. I experience masses freedom now that i’m my non-public boss. that is what I do……
      ↓↓↓↓COPY THIS SITE↓↓↓↓

      HERE► Go To Link  

  2. Turner was later arrested on charges of molesting two minors and fired from the FDOC. The other correctional officer named in the lawsuit was reassigned and remains employed at the department.

    I would prefer it if we could perhaps turn this into a racism narrative so we can avoid any scrutiny of the union.

  3. (In 2018, the state paid $4.5 million to the family of Darren Rainey, a mentally ill Florida inmate who was boiled to death in a rigged shower by two guards).

    What the fuck????

    1. Don’t google that shit if you still have any shred of hope for humanity.

      1. I make up to $90 an hour on-line from my home. My story is that I give up operating at walmart to paintings on-line and with a bit strive I with out problem supply in spherical $40h to $86h…PFc someone turned into top to me by way of manner of sharing this hyperlink with me, so now i’m hoping i ought to help a person else accessible through sharing this hyperlink…,,,,,,,,,► Click here

    2. IIRC, scalded / steamed might be more correct than boiled. They put him in a shower where he could not escape the water or control its temperature.

  4. I’m sure the government’s investigation of itself will lead to swift reforms and criminal charges against those who participated.

    But seriously, stories like these make wonder why people advocate to put the government in charge of more stuff. At least private companies that do awful things go out of business. When the government does evil shit, it usually just means taxpayers footing the bill on a large settlement and even MORE government. It’s almost like people are really stupid…

  5. never. goto. Florida.

  6. “This Release shall not in any way be construed as an admission by the FDC of any wrongful acts of any kind or nature whatsoever by the FDC or any FDC Releasee.”

    There it is, I knew that was going to be in there somewhere. We didn’t do anything wrong and we won’t do it again. Until the next time.

    1. While it sounds ridiculous, it would be malpractice by the attorney drafting the Release not to include this language. I’m actually surprised there wasn’t also a confidentiality clause.

      1. Prison is a governmental activity and so the release is a public record–confidentiality clauses in almost any Florida case involving a state entity are pointless.

  7. America is an extremely cruel society, all the indicators show it, but no one in authority will admit it.

  8. US Dollar Rain Earns upto $550 to $750 per day by google fantastic job oppertunity provide for our community pepoles who,s already using facebook to earn money 85000$ every month and more through facebook and google new project to create money at home withen few hours.Everybody can get this job now and start earning online by just open this link and then go through instructions to get started……….HERE? Read More

  9. Florida “TAXPAYERS” Will Pay Out $4.6 Million to Female Inmate Paralyzed After Guard Beating
    Not Florida, not the Warden, not the prison guards.

Please to post comments