Searchlight New Mexico highlights use of force at Taos County jail | KOB 4

Searchlight New Mexico highlights use of force at Taos County jail

Patrick Hayes
Updated: October 16, 2020 10:21 PM
Created: October 16, 2020 09:27 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Video obtained by Searchlight New Mexico paints a grim picture of what's going on at the Taos County Adult Detention Center.

"Nearly every guard and inmate that we interviewed spoke out about this use of force," said Searchlight reporter Elizabeth Flock. "So we focused the story on that issue, and did a number of public record requests in order to get videos and reports of the force that was going on."


Flock and reporter Mark Scialla said they spent more than two months going through documents and videos. During that time, they also spoke with current and former jail employees. 

"I think it was a little surprising what we ended up finding at the Taos County jail," Scialla said. "Especially in the sense that no one is really watching what's happening there."

The reporters say one video shows an inmate getting pepper sprayed for not putting on an anti-suicide smock. The guard can be seen counting down on her fingers, and then pepper spraying the female inmate who was standing in the hallway.

Another video shows a jail employee slamming William Berry, an inmate, to the ground after some sort of entanglement. 

"I think the William Berry video is probably the most shocking of the videos we saw because it had the most detail," Scialla said.

"I think it's important to notice on the video too that he's limp at one point," Flock said. "And then pulled up and slammed down again."

According to Searchlight New Mexico, no one at the jail has been disciplined for use of force in at least the last five years.

KOB 4 reached out to jail officials, but did not get a response.

Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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