Facebook Posts Emerge in Inmate Beating Video
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — First it was a YouTube video, and now Facebook posts are popping up, thought to be referencing an alleged beating of an inmate by correctional officers at the Lake County Correctional Institution.
We first shared the video Sunday after the man who posted it shared it with us. The Spectrum News 13 Watchdog team has now obtained screen shots of Facebook posts alleged to show a group chat of correctional officers who work at the Lake County facility.
A spokesperson with the Florida Department of Corrections said their Office of the Inspector General is investigating those posts. Spectrum News 13 spoke with Shantell Grace, who said the inmate in the YouTube video is her brother, Otis Miller. She said her brother has been in prison for 20 years on drug-related charges.
She wants the Department of Corrections to take action and hold those responsible accountable.
Grace said that before Tuesday, she had been trying to see her brother for about a week but was given the runaround. She finally got a chance to visit him earlier this week.
“He didn’t look like himself, I’ll say that,” Grace said.
Days after the video was uploaded to YouTube, posts in a Facebook chat group emerged, which were shared with us by a source who said the posts are from correctional officers who work at the Lake County facility. Screen captures of a conversation in that group show messages about an inmate in confinement and an exchange about meeting up. There is also a post that says, “FYI inmate went to the hospital possible fractured jaw.”
“Now you have a chatroom allegedly where someone is speaking about it. So you do this and you brag and laugh about (it) and you make comments. That is sick,” Grace said.
We reached out to the Department of Corrections about the Facebook posts and were told by email, “The information found on Facebook has been provided to the FDC Office of the Inspector General. The FDC office is actively conducting (an) investigation into this matter.”
Grace said she wants any correctional officers found responsible fired.
“I want them fired, I want them prosecuting, and maybe that will send a message that if you are a correctional officer, do your job that you are there to do and what you are trained to do, because you are not trained to beat on inmates,” Grace said.
The Department of Corrections is encouraging anyone who has any information or evidence in this case to reach out to them — you can call its 24-hour recorded tip line at 866-246-4412.