News 4 has learned that seven corrections officers have been fired in the wake of an alleged beating of a prisoner in an act of retaliation. The officers were fired just last month for an incident that happened back in 2013.
According to the Mayor's Office, the incident started when the inmate attacked a corrections officer back in November of 2013 at the City Workhouse on Hall Street. The officer was taken to the hospital, but was not seriously hurt. Then at some point after that assault, the seven corrections officers attacked and beat the inmate in a suspected act of revenge.
"An inmate and a corrections officer got into a scuffle and then this group ended up using excessive force and we just don't tolerate that," said St. Louis Director of Public Safety Richard Gray.
The inmate was checked out at the hospital, but was not seriously injured.
The assault on the inmate came to light, officials said, when they city began an investigation into the original assault on the officer. It was then that another corrections officer came forward with information on the beating of the inmate. It took more than a year and a half to see any punishment for the officers.
"Well, you're dealing with the city, you're dealing with structure that you have to follow with the unions," Gray added, "We had to make sure everything was done correctly."
In response, an investigation into the corrections officers was instigated and produced enough evidence to fire the seven. The information was then handed over to police and prosecutors. St. Louis City police filed for assault charges, but none were brought because there wasn't enough evidence. The inmate refused to cooperate while his attorney also declined to help. With no victim, the prosecutor took charges under advisement with no further action.
"There still aren't cameras in all of our locations," Gray said, but he doesn't think cameras would have stopped an incident like this. "You always have the opportunity to pull off to the side and hide and do things. So cameras are good, but they're not going to always prevent things from happening."
Stay tuned to News 4 and KMOV.com for further updates on this developing story.