Tyler, Texas - Khristal Ford, 32, a former Lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Beaumont, Texas, pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiding and abetting another correctional officer in his assault on an inmate.
According to the plea documents and information presented in court, Khristal Ford was a supervisory correctional officer at the FCC on June 8, 2017, when Ford opened the door of a medical observation cell where A.A., an inmate, was being held. Ford then told a senior correctional officer to “take care of it” and watched as the officer entered the cell and punched A.A. in the head three times without justification. Following this assault, Ford submitted a written memorandum that omitted any reference to the punches and included a falsified breathalyzer photo sheet, all in an effort to conceal the incident and make it appear as if the victim was highly intoxicated at the time of the officer’s assault.
“This type of behavior in our correctional officers erodes public trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who violate the civil rights of inmates.”
“When correctional officers abuse their authority like this, it hurts more than the victim of the assault,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph Brown of the Eastern District of Texas. “It damages the whole system, hurting the credibility of the good officers who try to do the right thing every day. We will do everything we can to make sure these kinds of violations are prosecuted.”
Ford will be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
A former federal correctional officer faces federal charges in connection with this incident. This former officer is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. Anderson of the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Nicholas Reddick of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.