The Patriot-News - August 31, 2005
Muslim prisoner claims beating, abuse of Quran
BY JOHN BEAUGE
WILLIAMSPORT, PA - A Muslim prisoner claims he was assaulted, was forced to stand naked and was spat upon, and alleges a guard damaged his Quran at the Dauphin County Prison in May.
William T. Smith II made the allegations in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Monday against Corrections Officer Roger Lucas, four other guards identified only by last name or John Doe, and a female prison nurse.
Smith alleged the incident occurred May 20 after his transfer from the State Correctional Institution at Smithfield for a hearing in Dauphin County court on a motion to withdraw a guilty plea.
Smith, who was kept in a day room, said that after a third strip search, guards went through his personal belongings. He alleged Lucas picked up the Quran, crumpled some of the pages and threw it over his shoulder.
According to the lawsuit, after Smith protested the treatment of his Koran, a guard stroked his chin and asked, "Where's your Muslim beard?"
About 15 minutes later, according to the court complaint, he was told to go into a hallway where guards spit on him and screamed.
He said he was handcuffed behind his back and thrown down. Guards, he said, grabbed him by the hair, beat his face into the floor and kicked his ribs and legs.
En route to the "hole," Smith alleged he was beaten again and forced to remove his clothes. While he was standing naked against a wall, the guards summoned a female nurse, the document stated.
She tried to leave, Smith said, but two male supervisors stopped her and told her she had to clean up the wound on his shoulder, which she did about 10 minutes later.
He contended he was beaten for no reason other than that he is Muslim, and that the Quran was desecrated to insult other prisoners who are Muslims….