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Sunday, July 14, 2024

J6 Inmate Sues DC Jail for Abuse

'Following the two chemical sprays, Defendant Lancaster and another officer yelled at Mr. McAbee for not wearing a COVID-19 mask and placed him in a shower with only very hot water, which amplified the burning sensation of the chemical spray...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) A Jan. 6 inmate has sued the Washington DC Department of Corrections after a guard pepper sprayed him for removing his face mask to take medication in a September 2022 incident.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court, comes from Jan. 6 inmate Ronald Colton McAbee, who’s serving a 70-month prison sentence for allegedly assaulting Capitol Police officers. McAbee admitted to one count of assault last September and pled not guilty to five others—but was convicted by a DC jury anyway last October.

According to his lawsuit, McAbee was sitting his in his cell on Sept. 5, 2022, when DOC employee Crystal Lancaster allegedly pepper sprayed him for removing his face mask to take medication. Lancaster allegedly pepper sprayed him even though DC Jail policy required inmates like to remove any face mask while consuming such medication.

“Lancaster knowingly, maliciously, and sadistically administered the chemical agent directly to Mr. McAbee’s face from less than four feet away,” said McAbee’s lawsuit.

McAbee said he was sprayed again after Lancaster called for backup.

“Following the two chemical sprays, Defendant Lancaster and another officer yelled at Mr. McAbee for not wearing a COVID-19 mask and placed him in a shower with only very hot water, which amplified the burning sensation of the chemical spray,” the lawsuit said.

“McAbee was not provided an opportunity to decontaminate thoroughly. Instead, Mr. McAbee was taken to a medical facility, en route to which—as Mr. McAbee was handcuffed behind his back—an officer placed a COVID-19 mask on Mr. McAbee’s face.”

McAbee said he was then placed in solitary confinement for three days, still with no opportunity to decontaminate himself.

During that time, the chemical agent reactivated and caused Mr. McAbee intense burning pain. Finally, on the third day, an officer on duty took pity on Mr. McAbee and permitted McAbee to take a thorough shower, the lawsuit continued.

McAbee said he continues to suffer physical and emotional trauma from the incident.

The Jan. 6 inmate seeks damages over the incident, which is also being probed by the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, began probing the matter in Jan. 2023, when he sent records requests to the DOC, U.S. Marshals, and Metropolitan Police Department for the body camera footage of Lancaster’s encounter with McAbee.

According to Nehls, the government has been stonewalling him.

McAbee’s lawsuit Tuesday also said the government has yet to turn over body-cam footage of the incident.

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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