Miami (May 15, 2018) – The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) Office of the Inspector General announce that as the result of a joint investigation, Everglades Correctional Institution Colonel Patrick Riggins has been charged with Battery (due to the unwarranted pepper spraying of a correctional inmate) and Official Misconduct.
Mazzard McMillan was one of the inmates temporarily held in an area of the institution’s dormitory on July 27, 2017. The handcuffed inmates were told to get on the floor. Video shows McMillan beginning to comply. Coming upon McMillan, Colonel Riggins sprayed him with pepper spray without provocation or justification.
Later that day, Colonel Riggins directed FDC Captain Lindsay Bethel to compose a false incident report and a false report of force used intended to justify Colonel Riggins’ use of pepper spray on McMillan. The reports falsely alleged that McMillan attempted to slip out of his hand restraints.
Patrick Riggins is being charged with:
1 count of Use of Force/ Battery on Detainee – 1st Degree Misdemeanor
1 Count of Official Misconduct by a Public Servant – 3rd Degree Felony
“All individuals in custody should receive proper treatment and respect,” noted State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “The law requires it and our community demands it. The investigation into this incident continues.”
FDC Secretary Julie Jones said, “The actions of Officer Riggins were unacceptable and do not represent the thousands of FDC officers who work diligently to ensure the safety of the individuals in our custody. Our Department takes all cases of inappropriate and unauthorized force very seriously, and any officer found engaging in this type of misconduct is subject to appropriate discipline. We thank our Office of the Inspector General and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for their assistance and hard work throughout this process.”
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PRESS RELEASE: Florida Department of Corrections Colonel Charged for Unwarranted Pepper Spraying of Inmate
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