Disturbing footage shows how an inmate died of dereliction in prison after being left paralyzed and in excruciating pain for five days, after guards broke his neck and ignored his pained screams
Army vet Craig Ridley, 62, died a month after he was tackled to the ground by a corrections officer, leaving him paralyzed on his bunk, after dislocating his neck
Ridley was slammed to the ground by Capt. William Jerrels on Sept 8, 2017 after muttering something the guards deemed ‘disrespectful’ to Sgt. John Nettles
After the assault the inmate told the guards he couldn’t walk, at which point they got him a wheelchair, but he nearly fell out of the chair
The former US Army serviceman was placed in a confinement cell at the Florida prison for five days before his ailments were taken seriously
It was only on September 12, 2017 that a correction officer realized that something was wrong and took Ridley to a hospital in Jacksonville
He was intubated and unable to communicate when he died just a month later
Despite an investigation by Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which revealed dereliction – as correction officers claimed that they were only relying on medics’ advise – no one was charged for his death
Ridley’s family claim they were first told that her had died of cancer in prison, skeptical of this version they started digging into public records to uncover the truth
His daughter, Jatoon Moss, filed a civil rights lawsuit against Florida’s secretary of the Department of Corrections Ricky Dixon, alongside correction officers and medical staff over her father’s death
Recently released five-year-old footage has revealed how a Florida prison inmate died after being left paralyzed in excruciating pain and locked in a confinement cell for five days after staff broke his neck.
Sadly the painful death suffered by Army veteran Craig Ridley, 62, was caused when he was tackled to the ground by a corrections officer, leaving him paralyzed on his bunk., because his backchat was considered ‘disrespectful’ to a guard.
Prison staff who walked past his cell a total of 170 times, ignored his pleas for help, before he was taken to hospital.
Florida corrections officers accused inmate Craig Ridley who had suffered man broken neck at their hands of ‘faking.’ They ignored him until he died from his injuries 12 days later
Ridley’s death was slow and painful death, as he finally succumbed to his injuries on October 12, 2017, after officers at the Florida prison insisted for weeks that he was faking his injuries.
Ridley was slammed to the ground by Capt. William Jerrels on September 8, after muttering something ‘disrespectful’ to Sgt. John Nettles, who first punched the prisoner in the face.
After being tackled and hitting the ground face first, Ridley shouted at the guards to stop hitting him. He told them he couldn’t walk, as he sat in a fetal position on the ground.
Jerrels is heard in the clip saying Ridley was ‘refusing’ to walk at which point they got him a wheelchair, which he nearly fell out of.
At this point Ridley is heard telling the officers: ‘My neck is broke.’
Ridley, from Missouri, was a kitchen worker at Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler, the main hospital for Florida’s prison system. He was handed a 20-year jail sentence in 2008 for aggravated assault and criminal mischief, but he was known as a quiet inmate who liked playing chess and running. He would have been eligible for release in 2025.
The 62-year-old inmate’s demise was caused by his being tackled to the ground by the corrections officer, leaving him paralyzed on his bunk from dislocating his neck.
Officers and staff ‘mocked’ him and believed he was faking his injuries.
He died just a month after that assault – being slammed to the ground.
He was in his cell for five days, as correction officers waked past over a hundred times without reporting that something was wrong and when it was ultimately kicked to medical staff, a doctor at the hospital where he was working told him that he was fine, despite Ridley not being able to move his body.
In a clip obtained by the Miami Herald, Ridley was seen pleading with officers as he said his neck was broken – but they continued to ignore him as he drooped in a wheelchair.
Ridley was placed in a confinement cell – and guards Sgt. John Nyitray and Officer Daniel Greene told him ‘you’re bulls****ing…you’re just trying to get a lawsuit’ when he said he couldn’t walk by himself.
They placed him on the toilet inside the cell, where he fell to the ground after being placed on the floor after losing his balance. He was left stuck in a pool of his own blood.
His cellmate, Moise Cherette, banged on the door and asked for help – at first, to no avail. Ridley was then taken to see doctor Jean Dure, who concluded he was fine. Ridley was returned to a confinement cell, this time on his own.
Another inmate claims he later saw one of the prisoners on work duty twist Ridley’s broken neck back and forth in front of guards and a nurse at the prison’s urgent care center.
After five days, other inmates begged staff to help Ridley, but they walked past his cell and did nothing, according to the footage.
A total of 11 inmates reported that Ridley hadn’t touched any of his food trays or moved from his bunk.
It was only on September 12, 2017 that a correction officer realized that something was wrong and took Ridley to a hospital in Jacksonville. He was intubated and unable to communicate when he died just a month later.
Ridley’s sister Diane Ridley Gatewood told the Miami Herald: ‘This was an inhumane death caused by an abysmal lack of medical treatment. It was torture.’
She was first told that her brother had died of cancer in prison – but she didn’t believe and started digging into public records herself.
The prisoner’s daughter, Jatoon Moss, filed a civil rights lawsuit against secretary of the Department of Corrections Ricky Dixon, alongside correction officers and medical staff over her father’s death.
Despite an investigation by Florida Department of Law Enforcement, no one was charged for his death – as correction officers claimed that they were only relying on medics’ advise.
One officer was suspended for 8.5 hours because he walked past Ridely’s cell 16 times over two days without calling for help when he wasn’t eating, and two others had a letter placed in their files ‘reprimanding’ them for inappropriate language to Ridley.
The probe found that there was repeated evidence of abuse and neglect, leading to the prisoner’s death.
Officers continued to believe that Ridley was faking his ailments and then they falsified documents stating that he had eaten during the five-day period when he was paralyzed in his cell.
Despite an investigation by Florida Department of Law Enforcement, [FDLE], no one was charged for his death – as correction officers claimed that they were only relying on medics’ advise.
The FDLE also believe that officers forged his signature on documents that he would not have been able to sign given his devastating injuries.
A medical examiner also ruled his death a homicide, listing the cause of death as ‘blunt impact’ and a major spinal cord injury.
He also had paralysis of all four limbs, listed as ‘complications of quadriplegia.’
Jean Dure, the doctor who concluded there was nothing wrong with Ridley after doing an X-Ray and CT scan. He said that he had passed a neurological test, but the FDLE did not find any forms to show that any test had been performed.
Ridley, from Missouri, was a kitchen worker at Reception and Medical Center in Lake Butler, the main hospital for Florida’s prison system.
He was handed a 20-year jail sentence in 2008 for aggravated assault and criminal mischief, but he was known as a quiet inmate who liked playing chess and running. He would have been eligible for release in 2025.
A corrections officer described Ridley as a ‘model inmate’ in an interview with FDLE, and he was nicknamed ‘the president’ by his peer because of his calm personality.
He was known to talk back to guards when he felt he was being treated unfairly, however, and had minor infractions on his record.
Ridley served in the US Army and had a degree in electronics engineering before he was imprisoned.
David Rembert, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Prairie View A&M University, said: ‘His civil rights were violated. This was deliberate indifference to medical need. If you’re walking past somebody’s cell day after day and they’re not moving, you have to know something is wrong.’
He called the whole ordeal ‘a hell of a cover up.’
The deliberate indifference to medical needs for prisoners’ is a violation of the Eight Amendment, the US Supreme Court rules.
In response to the report, Michelle Glady, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections acknowledged that the state had failed Ridley.
She told Miami Herald: ‘The circumstances of this case are isolated, and absolutely no reflection of what our policies outline and expect. We have reviewed this case in depth and recognize the many failures that took place and we have learned from it.’