The Winnebago County Sheriff’s office released a statement in response to accusations of mistreatment of inmates at the county jail.
The 815 Mutual Aid Network is a Rockford-based collective dedicated to providing resources in the surrounding area amid the pandemic. It alleges that on June 2nd a group of Winnebago County Corrections officers assaulted several inmates, leading in one case to a broken arm, and then shot tear gas into their cells.
In response, Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana issued a statement saying the allegations of mistreatment are not true.
He says there was an incident involving what he calls three disruptive detainees. But he says corrections officers used pepper spray, not tear gas.
He also says a detainee’s arm was not broken. In fact, he says, on June 2nd there were no injuries to either inmates or to staff.
Caruana says his office has purchased body cameras for all uniformed officers, including those in corrections, who will wear them while working.
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.