WASHINGTON—Phillip Oliver, 46, an inmate at the Muskogee County Jail (MCJ) was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Muskogee, Oklahoma, to one year and a day, followed by one year of supervised release, for one count of conspiracy related to the orchestrated beating of a fellow inmate at the behest of a jailer on duty.
“Excessive force by individuals sworn to uphold the law will not be tolerated,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute criminal civil rights violations whether committed directly by the hands of law enforcement or by inmates at the behest of law enforcement.”
Oliver pleaded guilty earlier this year and in so doing admitted that on October 6, 2011, he conspired with a jailer on duty to violate the civil rights of the victim, a fellow inmate, by assaulting him. Specifically, Oliver and the jailer agreed to use physical violence to punish the victim because the victim, who was restrained in a separate cell, was making verbal comments. According to court documents, although Oliver was concerned about getting into trouble if he assaulted the victim, the jailer assured Oliver that he would cover for Oliver. Thereafter, the jailer remotely popped open the victim’s locked cell door so that Oliver could gain access. Oliver then punched the victim in the face, all at a time when the victim was not posing a threat to anyone.
This case was investigated by the Muskogee Resident Agency of the Oklahoma City Division of the FBI and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Fara Gold of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Roberts for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.