Suit claims Clinton Correctional inmates assaulted

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From Press Republican :

PLATTSBURGH — A lawsuit has been filed against several correction officers at Clinton Correctional Facility, accusing them of brutally beating inmates and denying them their rights in the aftermath of last year’s escape of two murderers.

The suit, authored by Brooklyn attorney Leo Glickman on behalf of inmate Mattieu Burks, claims that Burks was beaten, threatened and called racist names.

The abuse allegedly occurred before inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped on June 6, 2015, and continued afterward.


The suit also points to a host of other problems at the prison that were reported by a prison watchdog group.

The New York State Correction Officers and Police Benevolent Association, the union representing correction officers, said the suit is baseless.

“The overwhelmingly number of use-of-force investigations statewide are unsubstantiated, and it is unfortunate that anyone is using the Clinton escape as an opportunity to file a frivolous lawsuit,” NYSCOPBA spokesman James Miller told the Press-Republican.


Burks was transferred from Downstate Correctional Facility to Clinton on Feb. 26, 2015. He is from Rensselaer County, serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence on a narcotics charge.

The suit says Burks was often subjected to verbal harassment by white officers who made inappropriate comments about a photograph in Burks’s cell of his girlfriend, who is white.

In April 2015, the legal paperwork alleges, Burks was observed having a conversation with a white female correction officer when several male officers interceded.

Burks was told, “in sum and substance,” the suit said, “you don’t know your place,” and that “he needs to be educated.”

An officer also allegedly said Burks was “just another n—–. We will kill you, do the paperwork, and no one will care about another dead n—–.”


The suit claims officers then took Burks out of his cell and physically assaulted him by kicking him in the testicles and otherwise roughing him up, and he was then put back in his cell and further assaulted.

Burks worked in the prison tailor shop, the suit says, under civilian employee Joyce Mitchell and with Matt.

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