NAMING OKEECHOBEE OFFICERS
REPORTED ‘GANG’ MEMBERS:
Sgt. Galis, Sgt. Murphy, Captain Phillips, Lt. Bohanak, Sgt. Silba, Sgt. Dennis and Officers Bullock, Thomas, and Relford
REPORTED FOR THE FOLLOWING:
Lying on Inmates
Threatening and harassing inmates;
Inappropriate use of chemical agents on inmates;
Setting up inmates for false drug and weapons violations;
Failure to follow protocol.
There exists in Okeechobee CI a reported group of renagade guards, some of them named above, who work in B and/or G Dorm. This ‘gang’ of errant guards are said to indiscriminately and randomly threaten, taunt, pepper spray and plant contraband on inmates’ property, causing constant and overall inmate fear. Those who complain are further punished, despite their legal right to access the grievance process. This is creating a dangerous and stressful situation for inmates and officers alike.
Sgt Galis in particular has been known to do set-ups in G dorm and now harasses the inmates at least two days a week in the B dorm confinement area.
REPORTED EXAMPLES OF ERRANT BEHAVIOR:
Dec. 15, 2005: Sgt. Murphy and Captain Phillips apparently conspired with Sgt Galis to plant a knife and some pills (Clonodine) under a mattress in cell G3213. The bed Sgt. Galis chose belonged to an inmate who was known for writing grievances. In fact, the inmate had been told previously by Sgt. Dennis, with ‘white shirts’ present, "If you don’t quit filing grievances, we’ll do what we have to do." The inmate continued to write grievances on wrong-doing by the officers.
After the contraband was planted (unsuspected by the two inmates), Sgt. Galis patted the mattress and said with a grin to the grievance writer, "You shouldn’t be messing around. It’s bad for your health." Sgt. Galis laughed and left.
Shortly after Sgt. Galis left the cell, officers were ordered to search cells 3213, 3214, 3215 and 3216 on G dorm, where of course, Sgt. Murphy and Officer Bullock found the contraband they assumedly knew was there.
This inmate, who has been DR free for approximately three years, now sits in confinement as a ‘security threat’, and even though he has begged for a lie detector test, a fingerprint test on the knife and a urine test to show he hasn’t been using drugs, the officers have merely laughed. The DR court refused to order the tests and sentenced the inmate to serve two consecutive 60 day lockups. Sgt. Galis now torments him in B dorm confinement.
PROTOCOL for institutions with two-man cells states that if a weapon or drugs are found in a common area in the cell, both inmates will be locked up on AC until D.R. hearing. The grievance writer was locked up – the cellmate was not.
Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2006: Capt. Phillips and Sgt. Thompson grew impatient with the sick man in cell 22 B dorm. He has cancer, is dying and was ‘complaining’. The two officers initiated macing for "running his mouth". No nurse was called, as far as we know, no videotape was made.
Feb. 9th, 2006, 12:30pm: The old man in Cell B2108 B dorm is "not all there", possibly senile. On this date, he was generally complaining and two officers, Sgt. Silba and either Capt. Campbell or Lt. Hamilton (inmates couldn’t see his badge and weren’t sure of his name although they could identify him by sight) began preparing to mace the inmate.
The officers turned the exhaust fans off and chained the door. The old man called out, "I don’t want any problems," but the officers cracked the door open and sprayed gas twice inside the cell.
The old man has a cellmate. Even though the cellmate was innocent of any infraction, he was locked in the cell and sprayed along with the old man.
PROTOCOL: According to FDOC rules, any use of chemical agents are supposed to videotaped and a nurse is supposed to be called to the scene. Neither is being done in these cases. These officers are not complying with the rules.
I’ve been told by a number of people that in recent months Okeechobee has grown nearly as frightening as FSP. Don’t remind me that ‘all inmates are liars’ and ‘all officers tell the truth’ because I quit buying that a long time ago.
I have a list of reported inmate setups, inmate witnesses, and some affidavits. I will share them with someone ethical in authority who wants to use this information to remedy this situation.
We are requesting an honest and thorough investigation into these officer’s behavior and Okeechobee CI in general.
We also ask that you overturn any inmate DRs these officers have concocted. If any part of these reports is true (and I’ve worked with one of the inmate complainants a long time and know him to be truthful), these guards should not be wearing officer uniforms.