Police/FireThe Northern Westchester Examiner

Cortlandt Man Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Inmate in State Custody

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A Cortlandt man could spent 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty last week to assaulting an inmate in state custody three years ago while working as a correction officer.

According to Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Taj Everly, 32, pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Judith McCarthy to deprivation of constitutional rights under color law, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

“Former correction officer Taj Everly violated the constitutional rights of an incarcerated individual by using excessive force amounting to cruel and unusual punishment,” Williams stated. “The protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution extend to all Americans, including those who are serving time in prison. When individuals in power abuse their authority to injure the powerless, we will act aggressively to ensure justice is served.”

On May 28, 2020, while working as a correction officer assigned to Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville, Everly assaulted an incarcerated individual without provocation, striking him with a closed fist and then tackling him to the ground.

After the assault, Everly falsified a report about the incident, identifying the inmate as the aggressor, thus obstructing the investigation into the unjustified use of force, according to Williams, who noted Everly’s actions deprived the inmate of the constitutional rights to be free from excessive force amounting to cruel and unusual punishment.

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