MIAMI – An officer at a Florida juvenile detention center is facing federal charges after a 17-year-old died in a beating by other inmates that was encouraged by the officer, WPLG-TV reported.
An indictment unsealed Monday accuses Antwan Lenard Johnson of conspiracy and deprivation of the teenager's rights under color of law. Johnson was due in court later Monday. It wasn't immediately clear if he has a lawyer.
The indictment claims Johnson used a bounty system and rewards so inmates at the Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center would use violence to punish bad behavior by other inmates. The 17-year-old who died, identified only as "E.R." in court documents, was assaulted by other juveniles in August 2015 because of unspecified "statements and behavior."
The inmate rewards included extra recreation time and snacks.
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice released a statement about the incident:
"The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s primary focus is to ensure the safety and security of all youth in our care, and our entire staff was saddened by the very sudden and untimely death of Elord Revolte.
"DJJ appreciates the important work of the federal grand jury in the investigation of the incident at the Miami Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center. The Department also cooperated with the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office during their investigations of this incident, which resulted without criminal prosecution.
"It is our expectation that any staff who jeopardize the safety of youth be held fully accountable for their actions, including criminal prosecution. The behavior detailed in the indictment is appalling and inexcusable. In response to today’s findings, the Department is taking immediate action to terminate this employee.
"As with any investigation or court proceeding, DJJ will continue to assist in any way we can in a transparent and forthcoming manner.”