The random beatdown is a staple of prison life, right up there with the occasional cafeteria riot and your first bad batch of wine made in a toilet. So the fact that Calvin Kingcade got stomped by a group of fellow inmates shouldn't surprise anyone. Kingcade's problem, however, was that those beatings never seemed to stop.
For several months in 2009, Kingcade, who had been arrested for domestic violence and armed robbery, found himself on the receiving end of a series of savage beatings from a group of inmates at the Miami-Dade pre-trial detention center, and he had no idea why. But then in November 2009, he says he found out that he was a target because the inmates thought Kingcade was a confidential informant. And the person who'd fed them that information, he learned, was one of the guards at the correctional facility, who'd told the lie to get revenge for a supposed theft. Kingcade is now suing.
He wants $10 million from the department and the guard he claims set him up, Victor Headly.
"Officer Victor Headly knew by ... slandering Calvin E. Kingcade's name by saying he was a confidential informant would result in a brutal attack and possible death," Kingcade's lawsuit alleges.
The Miami-Dade corrections department did not respond to a request for comment.
After being arrested in February 2009, Kingcade was sent in the county's pre-trial detention center next to criminal court in May. Two months later, five inmates attacked Kingcade, beating him with their fists and breaking his wrist. According to the lawsuit, Kingcade later learned from an unknown inmate that a Corporal Jackson had told the inmates that Kingcade was a snitch.
A month later, only 30 minutes after returning to the pre-trial detention center, Kingcade says he was beaten again by four inmates, this time suffering a broken jaw that required seven hours of surgery. Once more, after healing, Kingcade was sent back to the center. While there, the lawsuit claims he repeatedly asked for medical attention for dizziness and high blood pressure, only to be refused by medical staff. He got a third trip to the hospital in November, when he claims he was once more denied medical treatment, only to pass out in his cell, fracturing his chin and chipping his teeth as he fell on his face.
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It was only while convalescing from his latest injuries that Kingcade claims he learned from an unnamed officer that the beatings had been plotted by Officer Headly, "for robbing his nephew of a gold chain that belonged to Officer Victor Headly," the lawsuit states. Kingcade also alleges that Headly was the one who told inmates that Kingcade was a confidential informant.
In his suit, Kingcade demands Sheriff Robert L. Parker, Director of Corrections Timothy Ryan, Officer Headly, Corporal Jackson, and the director of the facility's health services "stop allowing and placing inmates in a dangerous cell(s), stop spreading rumors to inmates for evil attentions, and ... also to stop taking justice into their own hands."
Kingcade's suit asks for a trial jury, as well as punitive damages of $7.5 million and compensatory damages of $2.5 million.