Colonel at Miami Prison Charged After Inmate Pepper Sprayed

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A colonel at a prison in Miami-Dade is facing charges after officials say he pepper sprayed an inmate for no reason.

Col. Patrick Riggins, who works at Everglades Correctional Institution, was charged with battery and official misconduct, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.

Officials said inmate Mazzard McMillan was being temporarily held in the institution’s dormitory back on July 27, 2017, when he and other inmates were told to get on the floor.

Video from the prison showed McMillan beginning to comply when Riggins pepper sprayed him “without provocation or justification,” the state attorney’s office said.

Reed Saxon/AP

Riggins later directed a captain to compose a false incident report to justify his use of the pepper spray, alleging that McMillan tried to slip out of his hand restraints, officials said.

“All individuals in custody should receive proper treatment and respect,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. “The law requires it and our community demands it. The investigation into this incident continues.”


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