United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
KEITH BALL, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case is before the Court on Defendants’ Motion for
Summary Judgment . Plaintiff Torey Cortez Smith brings
this suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He is proceeding
in forma pauperis and pro se. He alleges
that in May 2017 officials at East Mississippi Correctional
Facility (“EMCF”) failed to protect him from an
inmate assault, used excessive force against him, and
incorrectly found him guilty of a facility rule violation.
For the following reasons, the Court finds that the motion
should be granted in part and denied in part.
complaint concerns two incidents in May 2017. First, he
alleges that Officer Jidarron Walker failed to protect him
from an assault by another inmate. On or about May 14, 2017,
Smith complained to EMCF officials that another inmate,
Dewayne Hoskins,  had sexually harassed him. [65-1] at 6-7,
33. EMCF officials transferred Hoskins to a different pod
within the unit. Id. at 7, 33. On or about May 15,
2017, the facility’s barber visited Smith’s unit,
resulting in increased inmate traffic to and from the area.
Id. at 7-8, 34-35. During this time, Hoskins
reentered Smith’s unit. Smith began trying to get
Officer Walker’s attention to let him know that Hoskins
was not supposed to be there. Id. at 9. However,
before officers could intervene, Hoskins punched Smith in the
face. Id. at 12. According to Smith, Hoskins then
pulled out a knife. Id. at 36. At that point,
another EMCF staff member, Sergeant Dukes “charged
[Hoskins], literally ran on the zone and tried to take him
down on the ground.” Id.
to EMCF medical records, Smith reported being punched in the
lower right jaw. [65-2] at 3. He did not require any medical
omnibus hearing held on July 2, 2018, Smith testified that
Officer Walker did not normally on Smith’s unit; he
usually worked on the “high risk” unit.
Id. at 8. Smith further testified that because it
was “barbershop day, ” it was “extremely
busy” in the unit, and “traffic [was] extremely
constant . . . even with employees and inmates.”
Id. at 8, 34. As to why he believed Officer Walker
let Hoskins on the zone, Smith testified as follows:
So my understanding - - my belief, just be honest with you, I
believe that because [Hoskins] was on the unit prior,
probably less than 24 hours [before], I believe Officer
Walker mist[ook] him to be still housed on that unit, because
he had just left out of that zone that - - you know, the day
before or two days before or a day before.
So I - - and my - - my belief, I believe that Officer Walker
assumed that he was still on there until the facts came out.
He was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, ’ you know, like he
[was not] supposed to be there.
Id. at 35. Counsel for Defendants then asked whether
Smith believed Officer Walker inadvertently let Hoskins onto
the zone. Smith responded,
I think he - - it can be either or. Either or. If you want me
to be specific, I’ll say yes, I believe that he
intentionally let him on the zone. If you want me to be
sympathy with him, I believe that he did not recognize that
he was housed on 1 Bravo. So I don’t know his - - I
don’t know his mindset, you know.
second incident at issue took place on May 31, 2017. Smith
alleges Sgt. Lonnie Traylor used excessive force against him.
In the grievance he filed with EMCF, Smith described the
incident as follows:
I was trying to explain to Sergeant Traylor that I had a
problem [being housed] on Housing Unit 1B. We stood in front
of the zone door. He stated to me to move from the door and
deal with it shortly. He advised Officer Jenkins to give him
the radio. He stuck me in my side. I stated to this sergeant
why you doing this. He said explain to the next shift. When I
refuse to move from the door, he pulled me in the hallway
and threw me onto the floor. While I was on the floor, he
choked me. I was gagging for air. Well, I was given an RVR
for refusing housing. It’s not right for this type of
action. If my safety was at stake, why should I be subject to
an RVR. ...