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Coleman v. Griffie

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

January 15, 2019

VINCENT J. COLEMAN PLAINTIFF
v.
SERGEANT GRIFFIE, Miller County Detention Center “MCDC”; OFFICER PATTERSON, MCDC; WARDEN WALKER, MCDC; CAPTAIN ADAMS, MCDC; OFFICER HENDERSON, MCDC; OFFICER POOLE, MCD; OFFICER RICHARDSON, MCDC; And SHERIFF RUNION, Miller County, Arkansas DEFENDANTS

          ORDER

          SUSAN O. HICKEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This is a civil rights action filed by Plaintiff Vincent J. Coleman pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff proceeds pro se and in forma pauperis. The case is before the Court for preservice screening under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”). Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court has the obligation to screen any complaint in which a prisoner seeks redress from a governmental entity or officer or employee of a governmental entity.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed his Complaint on November 1, 2018. (ECF No. 1). His application to proceed in forma pauperis (“IFP”) was granted the same day. (ECF No. 3). Plaintiff is currently incarcerated in the Miller County Detention Center (“MCDC”) awaiting trial on pending criminal charges and serving a sentence as a result of a judgment of conviction. (ECF No. 1, p. 3). Plaintiff sets forth five claims in his Complaint. However, many allegations in these claims overlap and are repeated against various defendants.

         Plaintiff describes Claim 1 as “Use of Offensive words or actions - Protected Class - Toward an Offender Mistreatment of offenders.” He alleges on October 1, 2018:

Griffie and other officers conducted a cell search on . . . [other inmates] myself. Aimed guns in our face, which by law, 7 feet or more is legal distance to use on inmates. When I informed this info. Sgt. Griffie handled the situation unprofessional calling me nigga, using other obscene gestures, threats saying he will pop a cap in my ass…offensive words and threats or (actions) toward me while I was handcuffed facing toward the wall. Left me in a state of shock and fear. Fearing that my life/safety of well being was actually in danger . . . .

(ECF No. 1, pp. 5-6).

         As for Claim 2, Plaintiff states: “Use of excessive or unnecessary force - Non-Provoked-without serious injuries.” Id. at 7. Plaintiff repeats the allegations set forth in Claim 1 relating to the incident on October 1, 2018, but clarifies that the “guns” pointed in his face were “pepper ball guns aimed in our face at a distance less than 7 feet away that could of caused serious injuries if they would've shot . . . none of us were showing any sign of aggression . . . .” Plaintiff alleges this incident caused him “loss of sleep, paranoia, dis-trust in authority . . . .” Id. at 8. He claims that Defendants Griffie, Henderson, Poole, Richardson and Patterson were the officers involved in pointing the pepper ball guns toward him.

         In Claim 3, Plaintiff alleges: “Mistreatment of offenders, Denial of medical care, Harassing or Retaliating against another individual.” Id. at 9. Again, Plaintiff refers to the incident on October 1, 2018, and states that the grievance he filed concerning the incident “was marked as non-appealable. Stating it was not a legal concern . . . I feel this is a cover up made by the captain . . . .” Id. Plaintiff then goes on to set forth his disapproval of the grievance procedure at the MCDC and how various defendants inadequately responded or failed to respond to his grievances. He states “I feel the grievance system here is not meant for our best interest of safety and well being. And constantly puts our well being in danger . . . .” He also alleges he sent a medical request on October 17, 2018 stating:

I can't sleep at night, waking up at the sound of keys and the opening of doors only at fear thinking something is going to happen to me. This feeling of fear didn't start until after the incident that occurred on Oct. 1 . . . .
Response by Capt. G. Adams 10-23-18 . . . . I will arrange for you to be placed on P.C. to ease your mind. I feel this is further evidence of him trying to cover this incident up, also denying me medical care.
On 10-24-18 Capt. Adams put me on lockdown. . . . I feel this is Harassing or Retaliating.

Id. at 12.

         Although Plaintiff describes Claims 4 and 5 as “Mistreatment of Offenders, ” he simply restates his frustration with and complaints about the MCDC's grievance procedure that he set forth in Claim 3 and identifies Warden Walker ...


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