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Inmate wins lawsuit over St. Gabriel prison attack; guard stood idle after man was stabbed, burned

1 year 6 days 8 hours ago Wednesday, July 19 2023 Jul 19, 2023 July 19, 2023 10:59 AM July 19, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

ST. GABRIEL - A federal judge has sided with an inmate who claimed a prison guard refused to do her job after he was stabbed and burned by another offender inside of a prison dormitory.

"None of the guards provided Mr. Briscoe with assistance, which makes you wonder if there's a wider problem in the DOC," Briscoe's attorney William Most said.

That inmate, Shawn Briscoe, was awarded $10,000 in damages on Tuesday.

Footage obtained by the WBRZ Investigative Unit not only shows the February 2018 attack at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center but also appears to show what prison guards were doing at the time. 

Court filings say another inmate — Darryl Harris — walked up to Briscoe's bed, stabbed him with a sharp object and poured scalding hot liquid on him, leaving burns. 

"While this was happening, the guard, Dallas Stewart watched, stood-by and did nothing to stop the attack, call for help, or provide medical care," Most said.

One video shows Briscoe running from Harris, tumbling over a mattress and backing into a wall as he tried to avoid his attacker. In a second video, prison staff — including guard Dallas Stewart — are seen looking through a window in response to the commotion, according to Briscoe's attorney.

"Ms. Stewart called Mr. Briscoe a 'rat' shortly before he was attacked," Most said. "Calling someone a rat or a snitch in prison is an extremely dangerous label to apply. It puts someone at risk of attack, like what happened here."

"In short, Defendant Stewart watched Briscoe get burned and stabbed, and did absolutely nothing to aid him," the lawsuit stated.

Additionally, attorney William Most alleges that the guard told Briscoe to "take your licks, n***a" when the inmate asked for help.

Stewart was ultimately fired from her job after an internal investigation at the Department of Corrections. 

"This case is important. A trial victory like this shows that everyone has constitutional rights, whether you're a free person or a person that is incarcerated. You have constitutional rights, and you should be able to vindicate them," Most said.

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