Jailhouse Knocks: Violence at Miami-Dade Pretrial Detention Center Leads to Jailers

The photo of Calvin Kingcade, inmate 09-9975, shows a fit 25-year-old with a black eye, a broken jaw, and a mouth fastened shut with silver wires. He drools while he talks to his mom at Ward D of Jackson Memorial Hospital. After getting jumped at Miami-Dade Pretrial Detention Center, one-fourth of his face is paralyzed.

It's not the first time Kingcade, who suffers from multiple personalities, has been assaulted at the facility. Says mother Molita Spaulding: "They need to protect my son before he dies in that jail." She has since penned letters of complaint to the Miami Department of Corrections -- and the ACLU -- reporting three beatings by both fellow inmates and guards in the past 10 months.

What's more, a court deposition implies a corrections officer employed at the center has a vendetta against Kingcade.

Jail officials did not respond to specific questions from New Times by deadline.
The Miami-Dade Pretrial Detention Center -- a brick-colored monolith on Northwest 13th Street -- has a poor reputation for keeping inmates safe. Between 2000 and 2007, at least 117 people died inside Miami-Dade jails due to violence, suicide, and poor health treatment.

A robbery in August 2008 landed Calvin Kingcade there. At M&M Supermarket on Southwest 216th Street, he allegedly "pointed a handgun" at a customer and "demanded his gold chain," according to the police report.

The next month, a court deposition shows a corrections officer at the jail named Victor Headley took an old mugshot of Kingcade from a work computer. He then presented it to witnesses of the crime. The reason: The necklace that had been stolen on 216trh Street had been his. Headley's actions were never investigated.

Kingcade wasn't arrested until February 2009. As he checked into the detention center, he claims three guards took him off camera and beat him. He ended up with bruises and scratches on his neck and back. Internal affairs found that the two officers accused of beating Kingcade did not use excessive force but failed to write an incident report or give him adequate medical attention.

Seven months later, in the common area, four inmates broke his wrist. And this past September, a different group of prisoners snapped his jaw. Doctors later inserted a metal plate into the side of his face.

"Something needs to be done," his mother says.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Natalie O'Neill
Contact: Natalie O'Neill