(KLFY) Surveillance footage allegedly captured an inmate being brutally beaten by multiple corrections officers at the Rapides Parish jail.
The sheriff’s office is now refusing to release that video, according to attorneys.
Just moments before he was supposed to be released after being falsely imprisoned for four days, Malcolm Xavier Williams says five corrections officers starting beating him so violently, he only had one thought.
“I was just thinking, ‘Just hold on. Don’t die. Don’t die,'” Williams recalled.
He says after the alleged attack, the officers threw him back in a cell for resisting arrest.
According to Williams, he was held there for ten hours before the jail’s warden said she was releasing him and dropping the charges after reviewing surveillance video that captured the incident.
“It should show the entire story from start to finish. It should show him being released after being wrongfully detained, looking for his things, and then this officer just beating him up and then other officers coming in jumping him like its a gang. It looked like, according to my client, gangs with badges,” attorney Ron Haley said.
It’s been one week since the alleged assault happened on March 22, and Haley says the sheriff’s office has yet to hand over that video.
“I think the silence is deafening. They have yet to respond to our public records request, but I know if we are making very specific allegations of misconduct, that video either puts guilt on those officers or would exonerate them,” Haley said. “If I’m lobbying these allegations, if my client is lobbying these allegations against these corrections officers, and there’s video to the contrary, I think we would have seen it by now.”
Haley says they haven’t seen the video. He says the only people who have seen the video are law enforcement officials.
“This investigation needs to be done transparently. If there is video that shows this, it should not take a long investigation. There is no history between Mr. Williams and these officers for them to do that. Play the footage. If it shows what Mr. Williams says, then folks need to be held accountable. This does not need to be covered up,” he added.
News Ten also requested the video. The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office said they will not be releasing the video to us until their investigation is completed.
“I’m tired of these law enforcement agencies hiding behind the idea that in an investigation, we have to suppress all the evidence for however long the investigation takes place. I’m hopeful that this sheriff does something different than a lot of counterparts throughout the state and release the footage. It eventually will come to the light of day,” Haley told News Ten.
In their battle to obtain the video, Haley is now calling on the public to help.
“Join us in this fight. Call the sheriff’s office. Demand that this video be released. This is a matter that needs to be addressed. We will not stay quietly on this. If we have to file a lawsuit in order to get this video released, we will do that. Whatever we have to do to get justice for Malcolm Williams, we are going to do,” Haley said.
Haley says the officers should not only be fired, but they should be formally charged with crimes if the video corroborates William’s story.