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Federal lawsuit gives prisoner's account of Vaughn standoff

Delaware Public Media

An inmate inside James T. Vaughn Correctional Center the night of a hostage standoff is claiming guards beat prisoners and denied them basic needs following the crisis in a new federal lawsuit.


The 13-page, handwritten complaint comes from inmate Donald Parkell.


Jayme Gravell, a Department of Correction spokeswoman, says the department can’t comment on ongoing litigation or confirm any of Parkell’s claims.


In his suit, Parkell says “no more than 10” inmates overtook the three correctional officers in Building C on Feb. 1.  It also claims the guards were “savagely beaten” and those involved  “brutally murdered” Sgt. Steven Floyd early in the attack.


After police broke up the standoff the next morning, Parkell says officers “pummelled [sic]” all inmates in the building, stomping them and using their knees – even if they weren’t involved in the initial attack.


State officials say all 120 inmates in Building C are considered suspects at this time.


The facility does not have any video surveillance cameras that recorded the incident, according to the complaint.


The suit goes on to claim DOC officials didn’t give prisoners clothes, shoes or bedding for the next week and ignored their requests for medical attention.


Parkell is seeking access to medical and mental health treatment - as well as having DOC return or replace any inmate property that might have been destroyed during the raid or current investigation.

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