A federal judge is urging Biden’s Justice Department to launch a civil rights investigation into the treatment of Jan. 6th detainees still being held in Washington, D.C. jails. After the judge found the warden of a D.C. jail and the director of the D.C. Department of Corrections in contempt, he asked if some detainees were being treated improperly because of their connection to the Jan. 6th riot.
The Daily Wire reports:
“U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of Washington acted after finding jail officials failed to turn over information needed to approve surgery recommended four months ago for a Jan. 6 Capitol riot defendant’s broken wrist,” The Washington Post reported. “The failure of D.C. officials to turn over medical records is ‘more than just inept and bureaucratic jostling of papers,’ Lamberth said in a hearing, raising the possibility of deliberate mistreatment.”
“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 into whether the D.C. Department of Corrections is violating the civil rights of January 6th defendants … in this and maybe other cases.”
According to The New York Times, the defendant was scheduled for surgery in June yet jail officials suspiciously slowed the necessary paperwork needed to approve the surgery.
[The defendant] was scheduled for surgery on his wrist in June, Judge Lamberth said at a hearing on Wednesday, but by September, the surgery had not taken place and the judge ordered jail officials to provide him with [The defendant]’s medical records so that he could consider issuing a formal order requiring the procedure. The jail officials delayed getting Judge Lamberth the records, prompting his angry outburst from the bench.
Lawyers for several other of the roughly 40 Jan. 6 defendants who are in the D.C. jail in lieu of bail have raised complaints about mistreatment. Some have argued that their clients have been denied proper food and access to showers. Others have complained about restrictions on religious services. Jail officials have denied the accusations and said that the Capitol riot defendants are not being singled out for punishment or mistreatment.
The judge did not impose any further sanctions on jail officials.