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Fed judge calls for Justice Department civil rights probe on Jan 6 detainees' treatment in DC jail

Another concern is how long judges will allow prosecutors to continue to ask Jan. 6 defendants to waive rights to a speedy trial

Published: October 13, 2021 1:50pm

Updated: October 13, 2021 2:27pm

A federal judge on Wednesday found the director of the D.C. Department of Corrections and the warden of the city jail in contempt of court and called on the Justice Department to investigate whether the facility is violating the civil rights of dozens of Jan. 6 detainees.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of Washington made the ruling after finding jail officials failed to turn over information to approve wrist surgery recommended four months ago for a defendant in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to The Washington Post.

The defendant has been identified as Christopher Worrell, a purported member of the Florida Proud Boys charged with four felonies in connection with the incident — including rioting and spraying pepper gel at police.

Lamberth said D.C. officials failing to turn over medical records is "more than just inept and bureaucratic jostling of papers," the Post reports.

"I find that the civil rights of the defendant have been abused," Lamberth said. "I don't know if it's because he's a January 6th defendant or not, but I find this matter should be referred to the attorney general of the United States for a civil rights investigation."

Lamberth also suggested that the U.S. Marshals Service may have to move inmates from the D.C. jail to other detention facilities if they are receiving improper treatment.

Conditions at the jail have for years been a concern.

Another concern is how long judges will allow prosecutors to continue to ask defendants to waive their rights to a speedy trial nine months after the breach, according to the Post

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