Palm Beach County corrections officer Jacob Younger made false statements in an incident report according to police and has since been arrested. Younger said in the incident report that an inmate moved toward him “in an aggressive manner”. When he ordered the inmate to the ground, the inmate failed to comply. However, surveillance footage of the incident appeared to show the CO repeatedly striking the inmate, throwing him to the ground, and then continuing to hit him until another deputy intervened.
Younger is facing one count of battery and has been placed on administrative leave. The two deputies who watched Younger beat the man are also on administrative leave.
What happened (according to the inmate)
The inmate said that he had expressed displeasure about being chronically strip-searched. It was during a strip search that the incident occurred. The inmate was accused of smoking in the facility and another deputy confronted him about his use of “foul language”. The inmate walked away but was detained by another guard. That’s when Younger is believed to have intervened and threatened physical violence against the inmate. The inmate told Younger that the conversation didn’t concern him, which is when Younger took a swing at the inmate.
Younger said that the inmate turned to him with his fists clenched and was swinging his arms wantonly. Video footage showed that the inmate was clenching his face mask in his fist and, while he was gesticulating while expressing his displeasure, it was Younger who threw the first punch. The two other corrections officers watched as Younger beat the inmate.
The inmate was placed in solitary confinement after the incident and remains there as of the writing of this article. Attorneys for the inmate say that there is no reason why the inmate should have been placed in solitary confinement after his trip to the infirmary. They don’t understand why the inmate is still in solitary confinement even after the corrections officers have been charged.
No special rules for law enforcement
Law enforcement is not above the law. There are no special rules that absolve law enforcement of criminal wrongdoing simply because they are law enforcement. In fact, all of the same laws that apply to your average Joe, also apply to police. A police officer or a corrections officer could not instigate a fight without cause. You or I, in the same situation, would be charged with a crime. So is this police officer.
What law enforcement has the power to do that is unique to law enforcement is temporarily suspend your Constitutional rights. They can only do this when authorized, however, and need to show that they had probable cause. In this case, the probable cause proved to be fabricated based on surveillance. Despite high-profile news stories, video evidence disproving police accounts remains rare and rarer still within the walls of jails and prisons.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’re facing criminal charges in the West Palm Beach area, then having quality representation can greatly improve your prospects of negotiating a fair plea or getting the charges dismissed entirely. Call the West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to learn more about how we can help.