Officer sentenced for assaulting juvenile detainee

28 year-old Edward Gibson, a former officer at a Mississippi juvenile detention facility, was sentenced to two years in prison followed by three years supervised release for beating a shackled juvenile. 

Gibson was working as an officer at the Leflore County Juvenile Detention Center on June 16th, 2016, when he assaulted a teenage victim who was in handcuffs and leg shackles. Gibson threw an electric fan at the victim, hitting him in the upper chest. He then punched the victim multiple times before being pulled off by two other officers. The other officers had to step in two more times to prevent Gibson from further assaulting the victim, who was in restraints throughout the entire incident.

According to admissions made by Gibson during the plea hearing, the victim was never physically aggressive toward him, and he assaulted him only because the victim made statements that angered him. Gibson weighed approximately 315 pounds and the victim weighed approximately 130 pounds. 

Gibson’s supervisor, Dianne Williams, was sentenced on August 23rd to time served for helping cover up the assault. She pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony, admitting that she knew the assault had occurred, did not inform a responsible authority, and helped cover it up by writing a false report.

“Detention officers have an important duty to protect juveniles in their care from abuse or bodily harm,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore. “This Department will continue to prosecute detention officers who engage in illegal acts of violence or attempts to obstruct justice, in order to better protect the civil rights of detained individuals.”