EXCLUSIVE: Jan. 6 Prisoners and Families Expose Brutal Truth About Jail Lockdown

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It began without warning. A Jan. 6 prisoner had emerged from his cell without a mask. When it was all over, the jail was in lockdown and several inmates had been pepper sprayed, handcuffed, and thrown into solitary confinement. Inmate tablets were quickly confiscated, but not before several prisoners had time to send text messages, exposing the brutal truth of what happened. Many of those messages were obtained by The Epoch Times. In exclusive interviews with The Epoch Times, the family members of several Jan. 6 prisoners share their stories.

The identities of those in the inmate text exchanges obtained by The Epoch Times have been redacted for fear they will suffer further retaliation.

‘[Expletive] Just Went Down’

According to the text message sent by one Jan. 6 prisoner to a family member, “[Expletive] just went down” at the Correctional Treatment Facility in Washington, D.C., around 9:46 a.m. on Sept. 5. One of the guards had just “assaulted McAbee because he wasn’t wearing a mask.”

The prisoner’s name is Ronald Colton McAbee. His wife, Sarah, described to The Epoch Times what happened.

McAbee had just been let out of his cell by a pod officer in order to receive his medications. Inmates, Sarah explained, have to take their meds in front of the nurse to prove they swallowed the pills. The med cart was about 25 feet from the door of McAbee’s cell. When he walked out of the cell to go get his meds, he was not wearing his mask. Lieutenant Crystal Lancaster began yelling at him and ordering him to put his mask on. He said he was going to get his medication and didn’t need his mask. It was after McAbee had taken his medication it is alleged that Lancaster doused his face with OC spray.

While pepper spray and OC spray are essentially comprised of the same ingredients, the higher concentration of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) is what sets them far apart. A March 1994 report (pdf) issued by the United States Department of Justice acknowledged the more potent and potentially lethal properties of OC Spray when used outside of recommended guidelines or on someone with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma.

By Patricia Tolson

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