White Guard Beat Up Black Prisoner Over Interracial Marriage

A white prison guard punched and kicked a black prisoner over his planned marriage. "That n***** did not need to be marrying a white woman," he said.

A verdict is set to be rendered in a case that involves a white guard beating a black prisoner for his plans to marry a white woman.

Michael Baxter was overheard by his secretary, Shannon Watts, complaining that a prisoner under his watch was planning to get married soon to his white girlfriend.

“That n***** did not need to be marrying a white woman,” Baxter told her.

Watts’ testimony this past week lends credence to the charges facing Baxter — that he beat prisoner Darren Glover, a black man, on the day he was supposed to marry his girlfriend in July 2015 in a Florida prison.

Baxter used Glover’s shoelaces as a catalyst for initiating the confrontation. The day before, Glover and his fiancee had met to take wedding photos. Glover has a health condition that causes his ankles to swell from time-to-time, so during the photo-shoot he loosened the laces on his shoes.

The following day, a guard ordered Glover into an office that didn’t have surveillance cameras. Baxter shouted at Glover, berating him for his unkempt shoelaces. Glover did respond, verbally defending himself, which resulted in Baxter ordering guards to cuff him and place him on the ground. Baxter then punched and kicked Glover in the face, according to prosecutors.

The door to the office was closed, Watts said, but she could hear Glover’s cries of pain through it. Although she admitted she tried to help Baxter in falsifying appropriate-use-of-force paperwork, she testified this week that Glover’s painful cries would not leave her, which encouraged her to speak her conscience.

“The crying, the whining — they haven’t been removed,” she said. “They are still there. This was eating at me, and I had to get some relief.”

This isn’t the only instance of abuse of a prisoner over what appears to be clear signs of racial prejudices. There exists a culture of covering up such abuses, as Watts explained in her testimony: Prison guards are like a sort of family who don’t readily right wrongs when they occur.

Racism in correctional facilities needs to be addressed, not just in Florida where this occurred but across the nation’s prisons where such abuse is likely occurring without being reported. The plague of racism is still pervasive in the United States, too, beyond our prisons' walls. We must examine society’s prejudices overall, and continue the work to correct them in the immediate future.

Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters 

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