[JURIST] Eight prison guards from the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) [official website] in Brooklyn, NY pleaded not guilty on Friday at arraignments in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website] on charges [press release] of using physical violence and excessive force against two inmates and filing false reports to conceal their actions. A total of 11 guards were charged in connection with the assaults; the remaining three guards will be arraigned in the next few days. Federal prosecutors from the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York [official website] did not indicate any connection between the beatings: the first incident occurred in November 2002, while the second happened in April 2006. The November 2002 beating was allegedly ordered by Captain Salvatore LoPresti after an inmate refused to remove a shirt wrapped around his head.
Three of the indicted guards, including LoPresti, were previously named [CCR press release] in Turkmen v. Ashcroft [CCR backgrounder], filed in 2002, in which they were alleged to have used excessive force [JURIST report] against Muslim men from Middle Eastern and South Asian countries who were arrested by the INS and FBI in the dragnet following Sept.11, 2001 and were detained for months at the MDC without being charged for terror-related offenses. The New York Times has more.