Correctional officers at Wende Correctional Facility outside of Buffalo, NY allegedly beat an inmate so badly it drove him to suicide.
The inmate who committed suicide, Dante Taylor, was serving a life sentence at the facility for the murder of a Suffolk County woman.
According to a lawsuit filed by Taylor’s mother, on Oct. 6, 2017, two sergeants and two corrections officers beat Taylor with fists and batons, hogtied his arms and legs and then threw him down a flight of stairs.
Photos of Taylor after the incident show his face badly swollen and bruised. Less than 12 hours after the alleged incident, 22-year-old Taylor hanged himself in his cell.
“These officers, they’re public servants. They don’t have the right to inflict punishment on people. They don’t have the right to decide that somebody should be punished or abused or brutalized,” Taylors mother, Darlene McDay, told the Daily News.
According to the 45-page lawsuit, staff at the facility were aware that Taylor was a suicide risk. Prison records show Taylor told staff that he’d tried to hang himself in 2009 and was discharged from the Marines for attempting to hang himself. Taylor also said he’d been sexually abused as a child, which is linked to suicide.
The suit alleges that Taylor was harassed by a corrections officer who denied him food and showers. The officer, who’s name wasn’t given in the lawsuit, allegedly told other staff that Taylor was a snitch. The suit seeks unspecified damages for medical malpractice, excessive force, and wrongful death.
Taylor was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of Sarah Goode in 2014. He was accused of stabbing the 21-year-old mother more than 40 times and leaving her body in a wooded area. Taylor was pursuing an appeal alleging prosecutorial misconduct and other claims at the time of his suicide.
McDay says her son’s alleged crime didn’t justify his treatment.
“He was a human being as well,” she said.
“Corrections officers should do their job without inflicting pain on people.”