Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of criminal charges against three New York City Correction Officers in the death of Ronald Spear, a pre-trial detainee at Rikers Island. BRIAN COLL, then a correction officer on Rikers Island, was charged with repeatedly kicking Mr. Spear in the head while he was fully restrained and lying prone on the floor, in violation of his rights under the United States Constitution. The two other officers involved in the incident, BYRON TAYLOR and ANTHONY TORRES, are, together with COLL, charged with obstruction of justice related offenses for covering up COLL’s assault, which resulted in the death of Mr. Spear. COLL and TAYLOR were arrested this morning on charges contained in a Criminal Complaint and are expected to be presented in federal court later today. TORRES ultimately disclosed the attempted cover-up to federal investigators and pled guilty to a Criminal Information earlier this week to obstruction of justice offenses, pursuant to a cooperation agreement with the Government.
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