Convicted killer’s suit alleging attack by guard proceeds

An Indiana prison inmate’s lawsuit alleging corrections officers attacked him and then marched him naked down the range at the Indiana State Prison to humiliate him may proceed in large part, a federal judge has ruled.

Judge Jon DeGuilio of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana last week ruled that several pleadings in convicted murderer Jermaine Cortez Bradley’s lawsuit will proceed. The judge also ordered five prison officials to answer specific claims Bradley asserted by Nov. 21.

Bradley claims that while he was incarcerated at the prison in Michigan City in January, a guard assaulted him with a steel lock. To avoid being struck, Bradley turned to avoid the lock but hit his head on a corner wall, splitting open his forehead. The alleged assault took place after guards had removed Bradley from his cell due to a fire.

A short time later, Bradley claims guards cuffed him and forced him to walk naked through the prison to harass and humiliate him. He also claims he was placed in a restraining chair after the alleged lock attack despite not resisting, and that officials showed deliberate indifference in delaying medical treatment for the injury he sustained.

DeGuilio permitted Bradley’s claim for excessive force related to the lock attack proceed, as well as claims against correctional staff for compensatory and punitive damages for his Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment and First Amendment religious rights claims related to the allegation that he was forced to walk naked through the prison. His Eighth Amendment claims against prison staff related to allegations of improper restraint and delayed medical attention also may proceed.

The judge dismissed claims that jailers were deliberately indifferent in returning him to a smoky cell before he was restrained and others because Bradley could not claim actual harm arising from those allegations.

Bradley, who now is housed in the long-term segregation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, is serving a 55-year sentence for a 2010 murder conviction in St. Joseph County, according to Indiana Department of Correction records.

The case is Jermaine Cortez Bradley v. Ron Neal, et al., 3:19-cv-528.

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