A Florida corrections officer is facing trial for allegedly attacking a black inmate because he planned to marry a white woman, the News Herald reports.
The incident took place in 2015, and was allegedly suppressed by falsifying prison documents.
Darren Glover planned to marry his finance, a white woman, in a ceremony at the Apalachee Correctional Institute, where he was imprisoned in July 2015. Correctional Officer Michael Baxter was against this union, according to court testimony.
The day after Glover's wedding photo shoot, he claimed that he was called into Baxter's office where he was confronted about the state of his shoes during the shoot.
The 44-year-old told the court that he raised his voice telling Baxter that he'd done nothing wrong and, before he knew it, he was on the ground. One guard allegedly held him down while Baxter delivered brutal kicks to his face.
“I just laid down and took the beating,” Glover said during his testimony. ”I just wanted to go home. I didn’t want anymore time.”
Shannon Watts, Baxter's secretary at the time, claimed to have witnessed the beating. When it started, she said she ran for help. When she returned, she claimed Glover was unmoving and bloody on the floor.
“I kept asking myself if I’m seeing what I’m seeing,” Watts said. She added that Baxter noticed her staring, and told her to close the door, which she claimed she did. “I could hear inmate Glover whining and crying through the door. He was whining like he was hurt,” she went on to say.
Investigators came to make sure procedures had been followed during the incident. Watts told the jury that Baxter looked right at her as he lied to them, and later had her help him to falsify a report for his superiors.
She said she did so without thinking because she considered Baxter family. He had gotten her the job, his wife was her best friend and he, like everyone she knew, worked for the Department of Corrections.
“In DOC, there’s a motto: ‘We never walk alone,’” Watts said. “You always take up for one another. You certainly don’t take up for an inmate.”
However, her conscience began to get the better of her. She told the court that she started to hear Glover's cries of pain in her head. She said that she prayed for God to wipe them from her memory but, eventually, she came forward to tell the truth.
“The crying, the whining — they haven’t been removed,” Watts said. “They are still there. This was eating at me, and I had to get some relief.”
Watts also testified that Glover's wife-to-be came to her with questions about why the wedding had been cancelled, adding that she also asked Baxter what happened.
“That n*gger did not need to be marrying a white woman,” Watts said Baxter’s wife told her. “He needed to be in confinement all along.”
The closing arguments in the case are expected to be delivered this week.