Mississippi Juvenile Detention Officers Indicted for Multiple Assaults and Cover-Up
The Department of Justice recently announced that an officer at the Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center in Greenwood, Mississippi was charged with assaulting two juveniles in his custody. The indictment, which was returned on Feb. 21, 2018 but recently unsealed, alleges that Edward Gibson, 28, punched and threw an electric fan at one juvenile, and struck the other juvenile in the head and body.
A separate indictment also charged his supervisor, Dianne Williams, 60, with writing a false report to cover up one of the assaults. The indictment alleges that Williams falsely wrote that she had no knowledge of the assault, when in fact she was aware of it.
The indictments were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division John Gore, United States Attorney William C. Lamar of the Northern District of Mississippi, and Christopher Freeze, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jackson Field Division.
If convicted, Gibson faces a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment for each excessive force charge. Williams faces up to 20 years imprisonment on the false report charge. An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Jackson Division of the Federal Bureau Investigation, with the cooperation of the Leflore County Sheriff’s Department and the Leflore County Detention Center. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Mims of the Northern District of Mississippi and Trial Attorney Dana Mulhauser of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.