United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Greenville Division
PERCY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter comes before the court on the pro se prisoner
complaint of Carl Porter, who challenges the conditions of
his confinement under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. For the purposes
of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, the court notes that the
plaintiff was incarcerated when he filed this suit. The
plaintiff has brought the instant case under 42 U.S.C. §
1983, which provides a federal cause of action against
“[e]very person” who under color of state
authority causes the “deprivation of any rights,
privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and
laws.” 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The court conducted a
hearing as set forth in Spears v. McCotter, 766 F.2d
179 (5th Cir. 1985), to better understand the
pro se plaintiff's claims. The plaintiff alleges
that the defendants failed to protect him from attack by
other inmates, failed to provide him with adequate medical
care, and used excessive force against him.
reasons set forth below, the plaintiff's allegations
against defendants Dr. Tony Carswello and Nurse Practitioner
Angela Brown will be dismissed for failure to state a claim
upon which relief could be granted. In addition, the
plaintiff's claims regarding denial of adequate medical
care will be dismissed for failure to state a constitutional
claim. Mr. Porter's claims against Gloria Carter, C.O.
Victoria Eckford, and C.O. Honeycut for failure to protect
him against attack by other inmates will proceed. Finally,
the plaintiff's claim against C.O. Honeycut for use of
excessive force will also proceed.
October 4, 2018, in Unit 30-A, B-zone of the Mississippi
State Penitentiary, plaintiff Carl Porter showered, then went
to the bathroom sink to wash his laundry. The inmate from
Bunk #119 then came into the bathroom to brush his teeth. The
guards' shift change took place, and C.O. Victoria
Eckford called out for inmate Collins to come to the tower
and accused him, in front of the other inmates, of
masturbating on C.O. Carter. Carter had told Eckford that
someone with glasses had masturbated on her earlier that
night, but she was not sure which inmate. The inmate from
Bunk #119 then yelled out that inmate Collins was not the
culprit, it was inmate Porter (the plaintiff). Bunk
#119's gang member friends also accused Porter of
masturbating on the female guard. Porter protested that he
did not do so, but, as he made his way through the bathroom
on his way back to his bunk, Bunk #119 hit him in the jaw
with a weapon (a lock placed in a sock). Other inmates joined
the attack on the plaintiff. The blow broke his jaw on the
right side. Two other inmates told the attackers to stop (to
keep from killing him), while the officers (Carter and
Eckford) made no effort to stop the attack and did not call
for backup. Neither did the two officers call to ensure Mr.
Porter received medical attention.
mouth bled profusely on the floor, and he spit blood out of
his mouth into the sink. Neither officer tried to help him,
though both saw the blood. They walked away, talking among
themselves. C.O. Eckford called Bunk #119 into the hallway to
speak, and the plaintiff continued spitting blood, this time
into empty milk boxes, filling three of them.
waited in pain for lunch so that he could report the attack.
When at lunch, C.O. Honeycut was working by himself in the
kitchen, but the plaintiff was afraid to tell him about the
incident in front of his attackers. He wrapped up his
sandwich and walked toward the Administration Building.
Honeycut ordered him to return to the dining area because
visitation was taking place in the Administration Building.
Porter ignored the order and kept moving and entered the
building and sat in a chair. As Honeycut approached him, he
spit blood on some tissue to show that he was injured.
Honeycut ordered him back to his building. Porter explained
that he was not the culprit. He also told Honeycut that
inmates there had broken his jaw with a lock in a sock, but
Honeycut said he did not care - that Porter had exposed
himself to the female officer - and he believes his officer.
told Honeycut that he feared for his life if he returned to
the unit because his attackers were still there. When Porter
refused to leave, Honeycut said “I don't care,
” sprayed him in the face with mace, and ordered him
back to his zone. Once outside, Porter fell to his knees and
begged Honeycut not to return him to the zone. Honeycut told
Porter that if he did not get back on the zone, he would call
6 inmates from A-zone to beat him and drag him back to the
zone. Honeycut then said he would return Porter to the zone
blinded by mace and handcuffed - defenseless.
Porter re-entered the zone, the gang members who had attacked
him also entered and stated, “You stupid motherfucker,
look at you, you thought you could get away, but he's
throwing your stupid ass back on the zone, but don't you
worry, we got something for you bringing heat on the
zone.” Honeycut heard the threat, but put nonetheless
put Porter back on the zone. Honeycut checked with C.O.
Eckford, asking if Porter was the one who masturbated, and
Eckford replied, “Yes.” Porter tried to tell them
it was not him - and spit blood on the floor in front of them
to show that he was injured. Honeycut told him to stop
spitting blood on the sidewalk, and Eckford said that Porter
had injured his own mouth to make it bleed. She also told
Honeycut that only one inmate hit Porter, and the incident
was over (and thus Porter was in no danger). Porter's
cuffs were then removed when he was returned to the zone.
back on the zone Porter went to the bathroom to wash off the
mace. While washing up, Porter noticed Bunk #119 and three of
his fellow gang members talking to C.O. Eckford. Once cleaned
up, Porter went to Bunk # 152 and was talking to the guy in
bed #150 when he was again attacked by gang members. His
attackers hit him in the left side of his jaw, and he heard a
pop. Porter dropped to the floor and balled up to protect his
face, and the inmates kept attacking him. Someone said,
“Open up, bitch. We want that face. I bet after this
you won't bring no more heat on this zone.” After a
while another gang member said, “That's enough.
Don't y'all kill him.” The beating stopped.
went again to the bathroom to wash off the blood and spit
copious amount of blood into the sink. C.O. Eckford watched
the entire episode from the tower and took no action. Porter
was afraid to try to leave the zone and seek help after
Officer Honeycut had threatened him previously.
October 14, 2018 (Sunday) and October 15, 2018 (Monday) the
morning pill call nurse made rounds to pass out medication to
the inmates. She asked Porter, “What's wrong with
your face?” Porter said, “I think my jaw is
broken.” He did not tell her more because he did not
want his attackers to overhear him. Porter returned to the
zone and filled out a sick call request, and gave it to the
nurse (Nurse Miller). On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, he went
the Mississippi State Penitentiary hospital at Unit 42. The
x-ray technician conducted an x-ray and determined that
Porter's jaw was, indeed, broken in two places, and
several teeth were misaligned.
was admitted to the hospital and given a pain shot once he
was placed in a room. He tried to tell Lt. Ms. Falona about
the attack, but she would not listen. He also spoke with
Corrections Investigation Division and requested Red Tags on
his attackers so that they would not be housed together. His
request was rejected.
was then transported to see Dr. Char Vanmeter in Brandon,
Mississippi, on October 19, 2018, where he was x-rayed again.
There was a five-day delay in obtaining x-rays because there
were not enough officers on duty to transport Porter to the
hospital. On October 24, 2018, Dr. Vanmeter performed surgery
to repair Porter's jaw at Merritt Hospital in Jackson,
Mississippi. The surgeon inserted two plates with screws and
wires to hold the bones together. The surgeon removed the
wires on November 9, 2018, and ordered a soft diet - so that
Porter's mouth would continue healing properly. Porter
was discharged from the hospital on ...