In Maine, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLA) has filed a lawsuit againt a pair of jail guards who are accused of violating the constitutional rights of a man being detained at the Cumberland County jail.
Zachary Heiden, legal director of the ACLU of Maine, announced the suit yesterday. According to thePortland Daily Sun,the suit was filed on behalf of Wilmer Moreno Recinos, who has since been deported to his home country of El Salvador. It alleges that two correctional guards – Glenn MacDonald and Steven Pyle – violated the inmate’s constitutional rights by using excessive force during a November 2010 incident involving a food allergy reaction.
According to the suit, Recinos fell ill after eating a meal served at the jail. He has several known food allergies, and approached the medical cart, asking to be taken to the infirmary for treatment of the allergic reaction. However, his request was refused, and Recinos was then brought back to his cell.
According to Heiden, Recinos was beaten and pepper sprayed by the officers while being escorted back to his cell. During an internal investigation, one of the guards told the jail staff that he felt he had no control over Recinos at the time, and that Recinos had tried to bite him. Heiden counters that Recinos did nothing to provoke the response from the officers.
Recinos reportedly spent the rest of his jail stay in the infirmary, though it’s not known whether he required treatment for the allergic reaction, for the injuries sustained while being taken back to his cell, or both.