BROWARD COUNTY JAIL
The Broward County Jail is a hellhole. The North Broward Detention Center is where the infamous 'psych' units are located and where John Beraglia was murdered. CHARLIE SHIFT, NORTH BROWARD - WAS THE SHIFT THAT KILLED BERAGLIA.
REGARDING ANDY LEPEL'S STORY
"The 'Looney Bin', as the psych unit at BSO is called, would make good men want to quit the agency."
Most of my information on North Broward and Main Jail was obtained prior to 7/27/01, Even though it is in the Main Jail, those units [2nd Floor of the Main Jail (either Unit 2B or 2C)] fall under the command of Central Intake. .
Deputy Mora. From how this incident is described, it sounds like this MORA was assigned to Central Intake during the Dec 00 till Dec 01 job year or he was working overtime for them, that night. I would suspect by the level of brutality that he was probably a regular deputy for Central Intake. It sounds like the incident took place on Alpha Shift (11pm-7am).
Deputy Pritchett. Cannot tell if he was Alpha or Bravo Shift (7am-3pm) but I would fell safe to say that he probably worked under Central Intake during Dec 00 - Dec 01.
I am not sure who Sgt Brown would be or what shift he was even on. There are a few Sgt Brown's in the BSO Dept of Detention. It would help, if Andy could say if he was white or black. Again, he was probably assigned to Central Intake, as well.
As far, as the incidents go, I can believe they happened. Central Intake is known to be brutal and very uncaring since inmates are usually only with them for a short time.
The Maj Robinson referred to is Major Willis Robinson, who is the BSO Dept of Detention Ombudsperson. I found his picture and webpage is at: http://www.sheriff.org/common/bio.cfm?id=11
Major Willis Robinson - Ombudsperson
Major Willis Robinson has been a BSO employee since September 1987. He was hired as a detention deputy, then rose through the ranks, becoming a manager, then an administrator. He became the interim superintendent of the North Broward facility in January 1999, then promoted to superintendent in July 1999. In February 2000, he became a Major. He is currently the Department of Detention's Ombudsperson, responsible for addressing inmate concerns.
Major Willis Robinson
The other person Andy is referring to must be Mr. Teitleburg who is the court appointed jail inspector.
The 'Looney Bin' is a collective slang term for the BSO psychiatric wards at North Broward. They are 12-1H; 12-2H; 12-2G; 121G (a female psych unit); and the Male Infirmary (where suicide watch is and is where Beraglia got killed.
Each unit has a housing deputy and a control room deputy. There is one movement deputy assigned to the Male Infirmary and one to the area of 1H, 2H, 1G, 2G. There is a Sergeant (known as the G/H Sergeant) who is in charge of 1H, 2H, 1G, 2G, and Male Infirmary and all its deputies.
This area is what is commonly known as 'the looney bin', 'the nut house', etc BUT there are other units that house psych inmates within North Broward. 12-2E hass housed had some male psych and some General Population (in separate dorms but within in the same unit under the control of the two deputies). 12-1E housed male psych and another set of suicide watch inmates.
If I have my information correct, these suicide watch inmates were considered less of threat to themselves than the Male Infirmary's suicide watch inmates. They were naked with a gown, like the Male Infirmary's inmates, but they all slept on sleeping mats in the dayroom rather than individual cells.
The Female Infirmary houses the female suicide inmates. The Female Infirmary (a.k.a. The Open Dorm) has a housing deputy, a control room deputy, and a movement deputy assigned to it and falls under the E/F Sergeant who also is in charge of 121E and 122E. The rest of E/F is more or less General Population type female inmates.
I know it sounds confusing but G/H and E/F are designed exactly alike. G/H has the heavy duty psych inmates whereas 2E and 1E have more normal and stable psych inmates.
Most psych inmates start off (even briefly) in 1H. From the way Andy describes it, that sounds like where he was kept.
Deputy Gonzog (I don't know how it is spelled) worked in 1H on Bravo Shift (7am-3pm) . I am not sure when he worked there or what his exact duty post was.
NOTE: A lot of psych deputies will participate in uses of force in other units regardless of their assigned unit or post (unlike most G.P. units). This can cause confusion about who was involved. Also, mental health deputies are authorized to wear BSO's Class B Uniform, instead of the normal Class A's. Class B's consist of a collared pullover with an embroidered sheriff's star on it and the real metal star badge hooked on the duty belt. UNLIKE CLASS A'S THERE IS NO NAME TAG ON THE CLASS B UNIFORM. Therefore identities can go unknown or be confused with another deputy. Also, most psych deputies wear a windbreaker BSO jacket to prevent blood, urine, or feces from getting on them. There is no ID on these jackets either.
Sergeant Palmer, a black female who has been with BSO a good number of years, was the Bravo Shift (7am-3pm) G/H Sergeant during the time period Andy described. And in case you do not realize it, she was the Sergeant in charge of the Beraglia incident. That incident occurred on Charlie Shift (3pm-11pm) but she had been on as overtime that day.
I cannot even speculate who the tall blonde deputy might be. I have no idea. But I would feel safe in saying that he probably was a Bravo shift psych deputy of some type.
The deprivement of food is a common practice in the psych units when inmates are in isolation cells. The daily log, inmate contact card log, and lockdown status sheets either get marked that the inmate ate (when he really didn't) or that he refused the food (when in reality it was never offered) and the deputies in that unit stick by that story if anybody asks.
It is prohibited by BSO regulations and Deputies know that it is prohibited, which it why they make false entries in the records. No Sergeant or higher level authority will acknowledge or authorize such actions but every regular G/H Sergeant knows about it and tolerates it. All mental health deputies know about it. And many non-mental health deputies know about it. Even some medical personnel have some knowledge of the practice. No one will ever acknowledge it takes place, though - A dirty little WALL OF SILENCE.
From what I have heard food deprivation is usually administered when an inmate in a mental health lockdown cell smears feces in his cell or throws feces or bodily fluids out of the cell flap on deputies, nurses, or at another inmate.
It is interesting to note that such a practice does not occur in the dorms without cell doors on the rooms. In 1H, 2H, 1G, and 2G that would be Dorms (a.k.a. Units) 4 and 5. Dorms 1, 2, and 3 are individual cells with securable doors. Dorms 4 and 5 usually have higher functioning inmates than 1, 2, 3 therefore it is seen as "safer" to do such a practice to low functioning inmates.
In other words they do it [food deprivation] to inmates whose mental status leaves them in a condition where they cannot speak up or defend themselves. Also, their access to telephones and Internal Affairs is much more limited. Also there are fewer inmates in 1, 2, 3 than 4 and 5, so there are fewer potential witnesses.
I have never actually spoken with a deputy who admitted to witnessing another deputy doing such a thing but I've been told it occurred. It just one of those well known but never actually seen things that go on in jails. There is no way to prove it.
Another interesting fact is that food deprivation NEVER goes on in General Population, at any of the jails, as far as I know. G.P. inmates would be on the phone to I.A. in a second if it took place or they would just knock a deputy out who tried to do it. Many non-mental health deputies do not approve of the practice and would never do it. This is why a lot of deputies will never bid to work in psych because of stuff like that.
The 'hog tying' that Andy refers to is prohibited within the Broward County Jail's SOP. Before it was outlawed within the jail it was a common practice. I believe that deputies are capable of quite a few thing but I personally doubt if Andy was truly hog-tied. They might be sadists but they are not dumb. It would be way to easy getting caught doing that.
I have no direct knowledge of the incident Andy refers to, so I do not know for sure but I doubt if it occurred, at least in the way he describes. To be honest it sounds more like he was placed in the unit's restraint chair.
The black bag on his head sounds like a spit shield (like in the Beraglia incident). Those particular shields were authorized, at the time, to be placed on an out of control inmate that attempts to spit.
It is not necessary to call maintenance is turn off cell water. Any deputy can easily do it. It is usually done if an inmate attempts to flood his cell. If it is necessary, the officer who does it should make sure that he or his trustee offered the inmate cold ice water from the day room water cooler every 15 minutes or so.
The unit trustee and the guard would have to clean the cell while the inmate was restrained elsewhere. Usually the inmate will calm down eventually and the water could be turned back on. That is one of those things that can have a legitimate purpose but can easily fall into the realm of abuse when done incorrectly.
Most good deputies will try not to have it off more than necessary since its being off could agitate a psychotic inmate even more than he already is and then the feces and urine could start flying to hit the deputy or the trustee. Could a deputy turn water off for 3 days? I have no doubt about it but in my opinion the other shift's deputies who allowed it to stay off are just as guilty as the one who turned it off.
More than once I've had reports that a deputy came on-post and would have an inmate ask for his water to be turned on that was turned off earlier that day or even the night before. The deputy on duty would either not even notice it was off or was too lazy to inform the deputy coming on that it was off.
A good deputy's personal policy should be, that unless the inmate flooded when he is on duty that he would not turn water off or keep it off for something that supposedly occurred when he was not there. But a good deputy in Broward County Jail seems to be all too rare.
The SMITH that Andy refers to would probably be Lt Smith (black/male) (I think his first name is Randy, but am not sure), who was the executive officer, of North Broward at that time. He was the second in command of the facility, at the time of Andy's situation (I believe that he is now in IA).
I have heard of Keith Love (black/male) and I know exactly who Seth Katlein (white/ male) is. Seth Katlein was a somewhat passive psych inmate but he tended to inform on other inmates to get favor with the deputies and this would cause him to constantly get into fights with other inmates and would cause inmates to have to be moved around.
Keith Love, I believe, is a relative of Deputy McCloud, who worked psych on Bravo Shift(???) during this period. I have no specific knowledge of the fight Andy refers to, but I know that Seth was ALWAYS in fights with people.
Chris Corey (white/male) was this inmate that had raped his mother and his sister. He was reported as a big time trouble maker in the various psych units. I do not know about the specific incident but it must have been on Charlie Shift (3pm-11pm) since Deputy Fennel was there. I am not sure if he worked in psych, at the time or what his role would have been there but he was a Charlie Shift deputy.
Major William Kohnke was the Dept of Detention's Director of North Operations at the time. North Operations is the authority over North Broward and the Conte Facility. He is gone now, I am not sure if he retired or transferred. I am not sure why a Major would be on the scene for an incident like that, but he was known to pay surprise visits in the evening and night and he could have happened to be there at the time.
The Waiver of Prosecution is not an unusual thing. Whenever there is an inmate fight and no staff witnessed who started it or who did what, both inmates are required to be given an additional charge for battery since no one can say who started it or who hit who first.
But if both inmates are willing to drop the charge then neither will get prosecuted. It is wrong and unethical to charge one but not the other, if both say that the other struck first.
BSO was not wrong on this one, they did not have a choice. It might have seemed unfair to Andy, but getting hit was not worth getting another charge against him.
Deputy Ismael Camacho (Hispanic/male) was a Charlie Shift (3pm-11pm) deputy a few nights a week in 1H and a few nights a week in 2H.
I do not know anything about and cannot offer an opinion for the actions Andy alleges in regards to the restraint chair and being moved, etc. But I would say that I personally believe that they may be true, especially when Sgt Palmer was involved.
Also, if the way that he describes the restraint chair being used actually took place, then Sgt Palmer MAY have violated the SOP. But he does not provide enough information to say for certain.
I am not a psychiatrist, so I can not offer anything about Andy's mental health and the medications he was being given. Andy relates he did not have a history of mental illness prior to his stay in Broward County Jail.
Otherwise, there does not seem anything out of line with the shots and the Thorazine being given by a qualified doctor to a patient that needs it. If medication is court ordered then the nmate has to be given it and he cannot refuse. The deputies and the nurse could be held in contempt of court if the medication was not given, as ordered. I do not know if he had court ordered medication or not. The whole thing about the medication is somewhat vague and I do not understand all that Andy is saying.
To prevent suicide attempts or other inmates from self-medicating, the inmate must swallow the medication on the spot or refuse the medication. He cannot save it under his tongue or hoard it for later. It is too dangerous.
Andy sounds very mentally unstable now, so I do not know how much of this may be true and how much may be in his mind. But some things he says do sound like practices that mental health deputies engage in. If he was 'unstable' enough to need this treatment, when he had a clean bill of health before entering the custody of Broward detectives, then I'd like to know why and how it happened. I tend to believe his story explains it.
From the way it sounds he was probably in 12-1H or 12-2H for most of these incidents. I would say probably 12-1H and they seemed to mostly occur on Bravo Shift when Sgt Palmer was there. He is not very specific on dates but it seems to be around summer or fall 2001.
The mental health deputies are a tight knit little group. I would not put anything past them. They do not have to get you themselves. They can just not help you when you need it or even set a bad situation up, so that you get hurt. But, whether they do it or have someone do it, it still comes under the heading, "Crimes Under the Color of Law"!
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