ECBA filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Matthew Raymond, an inmate at Attica Correctional Facility, against the Superintendent of Auburn Correctional Facility, eight Auburn correctional officers, and two Auburn medical personnel. ECBA’s Katie Rosenfeld and Emma L. Freeman represent Mr. Raymond.
The suit—filed in the Northern District of New York—charges that, on September 14, 2016, Mr. Raymond was viciously assaulted by Lieutenant Troy Mitchell, an employee of New York State’s Auburn Correctional Facility. Mitchell—a notorious and violent abuser who has cost the State of New York nearly one million dollars in settlement payouts—took Mr. Raymond into a private room in Auburn’s medical unit. With Mr. Raymond shackled and immobile, Mitchell cursed at Mr. Raymond and beat him about the head, neck, chest, and groin, using his fists and officers’ baton. Throughout the attack, five other officers, including Sgt. Thomas Harte and Correction Officers Charles Thomas, Thomas Phillips, and Thomas Giancola, stood by and watched.
The assault left Mr. Raymond with severe and permanent injuries. He will never be able to urinate on his own again and must be permanently catheterized. He may not be able to father children. He suffers from near constant kidney and urinary tract infections. And he suffers from what appear to be neurological symptoms that impact his ability to walk.
As the suit details, in the aftermath of the assault and in retaliation for Mr. Raymond’s decision to file grievances against the officers involved, medical care personnel at Auburn ignored Mr. Raymond’s serious medical needs and neglected to provide him with remotely adequate care. Only months after the beating was Mr. Raymond taken to an outside medical facility and given the care he required.
Although Mr. Raymond attempted to use Auburn’s internal grievance procedure to spur an investigation of the assault, Auburn personnel papered over the incident and, instead, levied false disciplinary charges against Mr. Raymond that led to weeks in solitary confinement.
“For decades, DOCCS employee Lt. Mitchell systematically abused prisoners in the New York State prisons,” said Katie Rosenfeld, a partner at ECBA. “He also corrupted other officers to join this abuse. DOCCS’ Office of Special Investigation repeatedly turned a blind eye to the truth. OSI always credited Lt. Mitchell over the reports of prisoners. DOCCS and OSI must stop covering it up when serial abusers in the ranks hurt people like our client Matt Raymond. Brutal abuse is not part of the sentence that courts hand down to people in New York State.”
“This lawsuit seeks to remedy the vicious attack perpetrated by Troy Mitchell and his cohort against Matthew—and DOCCS’s long history of ignoring predators in its midst,” said Emma L. Freeman. “It is long past time for state facilities to take meaningful responsibility for correctional officers tasked with caring for inmates.”