BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Two corrections officers have been fired after an investigation into allegations of excessive use of force at Lewis Prison.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR), a supervisor named Lt. Mark Hasz and Associate Deputy Warden Shaun Holland, a correctional administrator, were both dismissed in connection with an incident that happened in Lewis Prison's Buckley Unit on July 21, 2020.
While the agency did not comment on the incident, it did release surveillance video of it. Looking at the left side of the video above, you can see that a corrections officer appears to push an inmate to the floor. Another corrections officer can be seen nearby, and two other inmates -- one sweeping the floor and one on the second level -- appeared to be watching.
ACDRR said a "thorough investigation" revealed that Hasz used physical force against an inmate, while Holland "was observed taking no action to physically intervene." The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has filed aggravated assault charges against Hasz, according to ADCRR.
Arizona Department of Corrections Director David Shinn responded to the incident with this statement:
The Department has a zero tolerance policy for excessive use of force or retaliation toward our inmate population. In this case, no formal disciplinary report was filed against the inmate and no threat of violence was presented from the inmate behind a locked cell door. Therefore, there was no justified reason under our use of force policy that compelled the supervisor and the corrections administrator to remove the inmate from his cell and restrain him. These actions ultimately led to the violation of the Department’s procedures with unauthorized use of force of a restrained inmate which was entirely avoidable. This incident does not represent the thousands of corrections professionals that serve and protect the State of Arizona.
ADCRR recently launched a retaliation hotline that allows inmates to safely report a claim throughout all the Arizona prisons. An Inmate Ombudsman Office (IOO) also was established to help inmates navigate complaints and concerns and assist with appropriate resolutions. The hotline and IOO were put in place last month.