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WTF, Florida?

Unfortunately, the Sunshine State is the latest making headlines for having cold-blooded criminals on both sides of the prison bars. CBS News reports on Friday four Dade Correctional Institution prison guards were arrested for the brutal assault and murder of an inmate. Christopher Rolon, Kirk Walton, Ronald Connor, and Jeremy Godbolt were charged with second-degree murder and aggravated battery of an inmate named Ronald Ingram.

According to an announcement by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, on Valentine’s Day this year, Ingram was scheduled to be moved from the Miami-Dade County facility to another prison in northern Florida. What should have been a routine transfer turned violent after Ingram reportedly threw urine on the prison guards. Throwing bodily fluids is beyond out of pocket but no one deserves what they allegedly did to the 60-year-old man next.

In retaliation, the lethal law enforcement officers allegedly handcuffed the man who was housed in the mental health unit, dragged him out of the view of surveillance cameras, and beat him. Instead of the officers getting Ingram medical care for the severe injuries they inflicted, they just loaded his lifeless body into the van like nothing ever happened. It’s unclear if he was even still alive at the time he left Dade Correctional Institution.

“After the inmate was removed, even though he was in handcuffs and compliant with officer commands, agents say the officers began to beat him. The inmate was beaten so badly he had to be carried to the transport van,” the statement said.

After he was jumped by four men half his age, Ingram didn’t survive the ride to his next cell. When the van made a stop along the way hours later, Ingram was found dead. A medical examiner determined the elderly man’s death was ruled a homicide from the beatdown that left him with broken ribs, internal bleeding, and a punctured lung.

“What happened in this case is completely unacceptable and is not a representation of our system, or of Dade Correctional Institution as a whole. The staff involved in this case failed, and as an agency we will not stand for this. FDC is committed to providing a safe and professional environment for inmates and offenders. All inmates, regardless of their crimes have a right to serve their time free from victimization and abuse, said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon told CBS that they’re not just holding the arrested officers accountable. The department has put everyone who might have been involved in the incident on administrative leave and now has law enforcement inspectors watching for misconduct on every shift. The remaining corrections officers were sent to the usual mandatory training. What kind of training did they get in the first place if 4 of them handcuffed and jumped a mentally ill elderly man? The fact that this time a White man was killed by Black and Latinx cops only further proves what prison abolitionists have been saying for decades: The whole system is broken beyond repair.

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