David is being charged with eight felony drug counts after Pittsburgh Police raided his apartment. When he was booked on October 13, a mug shot was taken which showed no apparent injuries. However, at a preliminary hearing, eight days later, he was battered and bruised, his nose taped and his eyes bloody. His injuries were sustained while in state custody and were possibly inflicted by corrections officers.
According to another prisoner, David was making noise in his cell and demanded to speak to an attorney when three corrections officers entered his cell and beat him. Presently, local authorities and the FBI are investigating whether or not corrections officers beat him. If the corrections officers actually did assault David, they could be facing a civil lawsuit or a criminal prosecution. At this point, the investigators close to the case are not giving the public much information and the motive for the alleged beating is unclear. However, federal authorities do treat mistreatment of prisoners very seriously and are presently reviewing video recordings from the Allegheny County Jail.
This incident is disturbing for a number of reasons. Just because a person has been charged with a crime, does not mean he loses his rights. The state owes a duty to its prisoners to keep them safe from harm. If corrections officers are indeed responsible for beating David, that would be an egregious violation of that duty.
Presently, David is still being held in jail despite his injuries and the risks to his safety. This case provides a powerful illustration of the importance of obtaining the services of an attorney or someone who can help to bring these types of injuries or allegations to the attention of the courts, the public, and the proper authorities. If ever you are arrested or charged with a crime, having an advocate on the outside fighting on your side can be incredibly important.
Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: FBI, DA join investigation into alleged beating at Allegheny County Jail; Jonathan D. Silver, 10/28/2010