Colorado will pay $200,000 to a state prison inmate whose head was split open when two corrections officers slammed him onto the floor, according to a statement from the inmate’s lawyers sent on Thursday.
The inmate, Shawn Lovett , was being escorted from his cell in Centennial Correctional Facility near Cañon City when then-corrections officer Anthony Martinez lifted Lovett by his wrist restraints and forced him to the ground, a video of the 2014 incident showed. Lovett was knocked unconscious and was bleeding on the cement floor while Martinez and his partner Shannon Proud kneeled on Lovett’s back, according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in 2016.
Martinez spent 30 days in jail in 2017 for assault, and he was fired from the Department of Corrections. Proud pleaded guilty to filing a false report and was given probation but remains a corrections officer, David Lane, one of Lovett’s lawyers, said. The lawsuit alleged Martinez also falsified reports about the incident.
After being transported to the medical center in the corrections facility, Lovett was denied proper medical care, the lawsuit said. In the agreement signed by Martinez and Proud, they do not admit liability for the actions alleged in the lawsuit.
Correctional Facility Warden Travis Trani stated it was “the worst case of excessive force he has seen in his career,” according to the lawsuit.
Lovett remains incarcerated with 12 years remaining on a 30-year sentence for sexual assault and robbery, Lane said.
“I hope this sends a message to the state of Colorado and corrections officers that inmates cannot be treated as less than human,” he said.