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Video Of Corrections Officer Dropping Trans Woman On Her Face At Maryland Facility Sparks Outrage

WKRC

Officials have released a video reportedly showing a transgender woman being dragged around inside a Baltimore corrections facility and being dropped on her face.

Amber Canter was being held at the Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Center, where the incident reportedly took place in June 2019.

The video obtained by WKRC/CNN shows Canter in a yellow jumpsuit and accompanied by three correctional officers, one of whom lifts her off the ground and grabs her in a chokehold.


A subsequent clip in the facility's day room shows Canter being dragged forward on her knees while the officer is straddling her from behind and maintaining the chokehold.

The officer loses their grip on Canter.

She appears to be dropped face-first onto the concrete floor. She remained unresponsive after being dropped.

Two officers then picked her limp body up and dragged her into another room.




Canter filed a lawsuit against the state of Maryland and the officers involved in the incident.

In her civil complaint, Canter said she suffered "bone fractures in her face, severe bruising to the left side of her forehead, internal bleeding behind her right eye and pneumocephalus, and had to be taken to an intensive care unit," according to CNN.

CNN's video from the Baltimore facility was provided by Canter's attorney Malcolm Ruff.

Ruff said the footage was from the Maryland Attorney General's Office, which represents the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (MDPSCS).

The department was in charge of the intake center where Canter was aggressively handled by the correctional officers.

The lawsuit said during the time Canter was in detention, she had become “notoriously known by Baltimore Central Booking correctional officers and staff as a persistent advocate and activist for transgender inmate rights,” challenging the facility's policies and practices toward transgender inmates.

Ruff told CNN Canter was being housed with male inmates.

According to Canter's civil complaint, the incident began when she was told she might be transferred to another correctional facility. Canter said she was also told if she wasn't transferred, she could have recreational time outside her cell.

In response to hearing that, an officer allegedly said they “[did not] give a f'k, this f****t will not get nothing extra.”


Ultimately, Canter did not get transferred and was being taken back to her cell.

When she saw other inmates having recreational time, she asked if she too could have the recreational time she was promised. This allegedly prompted the same officer who called her a derogatory homophobic slur to yell at Canter again with slurs.

When the correctional officers were going to take Canter back to her cell, she sat on the ground in protest because she was promised she would be given recreational time.

The released footage presumably began at this moment.

Officer Zanel Santana, who was one of the officers named in the lawsuit, allegedly arrived on the scene and said:

“Mace this f'king d*ck-sucker!”

Canter alleged in her complaint the officers failed to take her to seek medical treatment for more than ten minutes following the aggressive incidents depicted in the video.

She was eventually brought to an intensive care unit because of her extensive injuries.



The lawsuit also named Officer Uchenna Okeke and Sgt. Monyette Washington, along with the facility's security chief and warden, the secretary of Maryland's corrections department and the state of Maryland.

Canter is suing for a minimum of $75,000 in compensatory damages, claiming violations of her federal and state civil rights, as well as negligence and assault and battery.



Her attorney wrote in a statement:

“We will not let this apparent hate crime, committed under the watch of the Maryland prison system, go unaddressed."
“Amber has long fought for transgender rights and has vigorously complained about the state correctional system’s mistreatment of her and other members of the LGBTQ inmate community."
“Such senseless brutality against the transgender community cannot and will not be tolerated, no matter where it occurs.”

Court records indicated Santana, Washington and Okeke are due in court on March 16 regarding their criminal charges.