Transgender inmate Sues Maryland, Officer Allegedly Placed Her in suffocation, Dropped Her on Her Face at Central Reservations – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – A transgender inmate is suing the state of Maryland after she said she was brutally assaulted by a correctional officer at Baltimore’s Central Booking two years ago. She also claims that officers tried to cover it up.

The three officers were later changed. Their criminal cases are still pending in the court system.

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Video obtained by WJZ shows a corrections officer placing inmate Amber Canter in an apparent enclosure inside Central Booking, a state-run facility in the City of Baltimore, in June 2019.

Two other officers were in the same room at the time.

Canter was led into a common area while two officers were holding her. She said she lost consciousness and she fell to the concrete floor on her face.

The video shows the officers pulling her limp body. Her lawsuit claims they waited to get her medical treatment and her injuries were so severe she was later admitted to intensive care at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Attorney Malcolm Ruff, along with Murphy, Falcon and Murphy, told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren: “The video is essential for the public to know what’s going on behind the prison doors. “It is quite serious for a corrections officer to think he will get away with assaulting an inmate in this way.”

Ruff’s federal complaint shows before and after photos of what he claims are Canter’s injuries.

Ruff said: ‘Broken eye socket, broken facial bone, broken sinus bone, severe bleeding in the head. “No one deserves to be treated like that. She was treated like an animal.”

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Ruff said his client was a thorn in the side for officers and prison guards for his persistence in campaigning for transgender prisoners’ rights.

What led to the video, he said, was her own objection to her treatment — that she sat on the floor asking for a supervisor.

She also claimed officers falsified their use of force reports.

“The department should take ownership of the culture they have created, perhaps even allowing a correctional officer to interact with an inmate in this way,” Ruff told Hellgren.

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services told WJZ it could not comment, citing pending litigation. Governor Larry Hogan told us Friday that he was unaware of the incident.

Canter was transferred to a correctional facility in Western Maryland, where she allegedly continued to be discriminated against because she was transgender.

According to Canter’s attorney, the officer seen to have placed her in that apparent tight spot at Central Booking was fired by the state according to Canter’s attorney. That officer faces felony assault and misconduct charges in the office charges.

Two other officers face misconduct in office charges. Their cases are moving slowly, with trials scheduled for March.

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Ruff called the civil lawsuit “a first moment for transgender inmates in the state of Maryland.” Transgender inmate Sues Maryland, Officer Allegedly Placed Her in suffocation, Dropped Her on Her Face at Central Reservations – CBS Baltimore


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