US prison guards on trial for killing black inmate

US prison guards on trial for killing black inmate
Othell Moore in an undated photo

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Four Missouri prison officials have been charged with killing an inmate. A fifth prison guard is on trial for manslaughter.

Othell Moore, 38, died last December, after being pepper-sprayed twice and tied to a chair with a hood over his head. Prosecutors say several people heard Moore say he couldn’t breathe. The coroner determined that the man was suffocating.

On December 8, Moore was tested for illegal substances in his cell. Police said he was taken out of his cell with his hands behind his back. He was told to keep quiet, and when he asked why, he was pepper sprayed in the face twice.

His legs were then tied and he was given a spit cap. According to the accused guards, this was because Moore spat at them, but his colleagues reported that he coughed up pepper spray. They also heard him calling for help. He was transferred to another cell, where no one came to check on him until 20 minutes had passed. He had already lost consciousness by then.

According to the police investigation, there was no evidence that Moore was aggressive during or after the search. He followed all commands carefully.

racism in prisons

The prison employees were fired earlier this year and are now on trial for murder or manslaughter. According to the Missouri prison system, the contracts of five other prison guards involved in Moore’s death have been terminated. It was also recently announced that the prison’s director It has been replaced..

Othel Moore’s family attorney sees a clear link between Moore’s skin color and his treatment in prison. “There is systemic racism and unconstitutional abuse in Missouri prisons. He is George Floyd 3.0 in prison.” Floyd’s death at the hands of police officers sparked Black Lives Matter protests around the world in 2020.

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