A racist former corrections officer who served at an Oklahoma prison has been convicted of violating the civil rights of black inmates by organizing and allowing white supremacist inmates to assault them.

On May 18, 2017, Matthew Ware, who was then working as a lieutenant at the Kay County Detention Center, ordered lower-ranking corrections officers to move two Black detainees, identified as D’Angelo Wilson and Marcus Miller, into a cell row known to house white supremacists.

He then ordered their cells to be unlocked, knowing that the white supremacists pose a threat to the inmates, the Department of Justice reported.

The white supremacists attacked Wilson and Miller and left them both severely injured. Following the assault, Wilson needed seven stitches to close a cut on his face.

A year later, in January 2018, Ware, who was then serving as the acting captain of the Kay County Detention Center, ordered two corrections officers to restrain a pretrial detainee identified as Christopher Davis.

Ware ordered Davis’ left wrist to be restrained to the far-left side of a bench and his right wrist restrained to the far-right side. The official allegedly ordered Davis to be left restrained in this position for 90 minutes. Ware was reportedly punishing Davis for sending a note criticizing his methods.

Ware faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 for each of the violations, Daily News reported.

“This high-ranking corrections official had a duty to ensure that the civil rights of pretrial detainees in his custody were not violated,” Kristen Clarke, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said. “The defendant abused his power and authority by ordering subordinate corrections officers to violate the constitutional rights of several pretrial detainees. The Civil Rights Division will continue to hold corrections officials accountable when they violate the civil rights of detainees and inmates.”

“If we don’t hold our very own law enforcement officials accountable, those sworn to protect and serve, what hope will the American people have? Mr. Ware’s actions were impermissible and undignified, particularly given his leadership role. His conviction is a prompt reminder that no one is above the law,” Special Agent in Charge Ed Gray of the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office said.

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