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Six Florida prison officers jailed and fired for setting up inmate beating, lying about it

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A corrections officer lied when he said an inmate spit in his face to justify a brutal beating last month at a Florida prison, investigators said.

Capt. James Kirkland (pictured above) was arrested Thursday on two counts of official misconduct, and five sergeants — William Finch, James Perkins, Robert Miller, Christopher Christmas and Dalton Riley – were charged with felony battery of an inmate.

All six corrections officers were fired.

The inspector general for the Florida Department of Corrections found Kirkland ordered one of the sergeants to write incident reports for the others so their stories would match.

But one of the corrections officers admitted to investigators the reports were “fictitious” and helped to cover up Kirkland’s “illegal order to commit a malicious battery.”

Kirkland and the other corrections officers were transferring 31-year-old inmate Jeremiah Tatum into a shower Aug. 5 after he was sprayed with chemical irritant during a disturbance at Northwest Florida Reception Center in Chipley.

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Kirkland told the other officers he wanted Tatum taken down, and he instructed them that he would make a spitting sound or say the inmate spit on him.

“The escorting officers were to then force inmate Tatum to the ground,” court documents show.

The captain said Tatum spat “directly” into his face during the transfer, but all five sergeants said under oath that the inmate never spit on Kirkland.

Video from the incident showed Finch and Riley slam Tatum – who was shackled in hand, ankle, and leg restraints – face-first onto the concrete floor.

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Perkins then jumps on the prisoner’s legs and presses his body into the ground.

“Capt. James Kirkland instructed (the sergeants) prior to the escort that he wanted inmate Tatum to be taken to the ground,” court documents showed. “Captain Kirkland would make an audible noise and/or state that inmate Tatum spit on him. The escorting officers were to then force inmate Tatum to the ground.”

Perkins said the sergeants threw Tatum to the ground on Kirkland’s orders, and Finch was then ordered to type all of the officers’ reports to line up with the captain’s claims.

The inspector general is investigating three deaths at Chipley, and a fourth is being reviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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NRA owes $1.6 million in unpaid bills to vendor who runs NRATV

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The National Rifle Association has a hefty bill that remains unpaid, despite making a huge haul in fundraising for the 2016 election.

According to Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast, the NRA owes $1.6 million to their vendor, Ackerman McQueen, they've used for advertising for years. The company is the one responsible for doing the media for NRATV, the group's streaming service for pro-gun television.

The two have had a long relationship and err on the side of quiet privacy, which Woodruff said on MSNBC, shows just how acrimonious the battle has become.

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2020 Election

Michael Moore warns that Trump will be hard to beat: ‘He hasn’t lost one inch of his fired-up insane base’

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Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore thinks that Democrats had better get ready for a very tough fight in the 2020 presidential election.

Even though polls continue to show that President Donald Trump is historically unpopular, Moore believes that the president's base is fired up to reelect him and will crawl over glass to vote for him again next year.

In particular, Moore was struck by the massive enthusiasm that greeted the president at his big kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida.

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Canada is taking advantage of Trump’s tariff pratfalls by scooping up new trade partners: report

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As American manufacturers reel and U.S. farmers see their economic well-being being destroyed by Donald Trump's trade wars, the Canadian government is stepping into the breach and boosting their own trade relations, reports Politico.

As part of their Global Translations podcast, Politico notes that countries -- and manufacturers -- are not standing by helplessly as Trump threatens and changes directions on trade on almost a daily basis.

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