ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Newly-released video shows a corrections officer at the St. Louis City Jail opening an inmate's cell to allow two other men to attack him.
The four-minute jailhouse footage shows two male inmates walking up to talk to corrections officer Demeria Thomas at the podium on the fourth floor in the Bravo unit on March 22. According to a police report, the controls for all the cell doors were located at the podium. Moments later, Thomas is reportedly seen on camera opening the victim's cell door, allowing the first inmate to go in and assault him.
The assailant then attacked the man for more than three minutes, punching and kicking him in the cell. Then, the second inmate entered the cell and joined in the assault. Other inmates can be seen running toward the assault, but Thomas told them to stay where they were. Officials said Thomas ordered the attackers to leave and closed the cell door. She also at no point called for help or tried to stop the assault, according to charging documents.
The victim reportedly suffered a concussion and a broken jaw, as well as multiple wounds on his face and neck. Police said Thomas never reported the assault, and never sought medical help for the man. It was only two days later when someone else saw his injuries that he was taken to the hospital.
The victim still remains in the justice center and is fearful the guards want to kill him, says his attorney Mark Pedroli.
The victim hasn't filed a civil lawsuit yet, but Pedroli said that could be coming in the future, which means taxpayers could ultimately pay a financial price.
"When government employees conspire to attack pretrial detainees, the system has reached critical dysfunction and becomes dangerous to all its citizens," said Attorney Pedroli in a statement.
Thomas, 38, was charged with third-degree assault in late March.
Terry Niehoff is representing Thomas and told News 4, "I'm not going to litigate this in the press. The evidence at trial, should it come to that, will show that Ms. Thomas' intention and her action did not violate any criminal law."