Judge holds DC corrections officials in contempt over treatment of Jan. 6 defendant
A federal judge on Wednesday found D.C. corrections officials in contempt over the treatment of a Jan. 6 defendant and referred the matter to the Department of Justice for a civil rights investigation into whether other Capitol riot defendants are facing similar conditions.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said he would not issue contempt sanctions against D.C. Jail Warden Wanda Patten and Quincy Booth, the director of the D.C. Department of Corrections, after a long delay in turning over medical records related to a defendant’s injury that required surgery.
Lamberth had found that the officials did not turn over records that were needed to approve the operation for defendant Christopher Worrell, a Proud Boys member charged with four felonies over the Jan. 6 riot.
“I find that the civil rights of the defendant have been abused,” Lamberth, who was appointed by former President Reagan, said at a hearing Wednesday morning, according to The Washington Post. “I don’t know if it’s because he’s a January 6th defendant or not, but I find this matter should be referred to the attorney general of the United States for a civil rights investigation into whether the D.C. Department of Corrections is violating the civil rights of January 6th defendants … in this and maybe other cases.”
The order is likely to have ripple effects for other Jan. 6 defendants, some of whom are still fighting detention orders after being denied bond.
Worrell, who is also being treated for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and contracted COVID-19 while incarcerated, broke his hand in jail in May and was recommended to have surgery the following month. In August, his lawyers said that corrections officials had done nothing other than provide anti-inflammatory medicine like Tylenol.
Lamberth reportedly said during Wednesday’s hearing that corrections officials’ failure was “more than just inept and bureaucratic jostling of papers.”
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