Thomas Woodworth is a correctional officer at Wyatt Detention Facility who drove his pickup truck into anti-ICE protesters on the Rhode Island federal jail throughout a protest in opposition to the Trump administration’s immigration insurance policies led by the Jewish group By no means Once more Motion. Woodworth, a captain on the privately run facility, has been positioned on go away amid an investigation into his actions.
Two individuals had been injured by Woodworth’s truck and three others had been hospitalized from accidents suffered within the aftermath of the protesters being rammed on the entrance to the jail in Central Falls, Rhode Island, By no means Once more Motion organizers say.
The protest is one among many being held by By no means Once more Motion across the nation. It started about 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 14, at Jenks Park in Central Falls, as protesters gathered and marched to the Wyatt Detention Facility, the Windfall Journal stories. The peaceable protest turned violent about 9:50 p.m. when Woodworth drove his pickup truck into protesters blocking a parking zone on the entrance to the jail’s worker parking zone.
No protesters had been arrested. About 600 protesters took half within the gathering, with about 30 blocking the doorway to the parking zone, the Boston Herald stories. The By no means Once more Motion group has used #JewsAgainstICE as they’ve led dozens of protests at ICE amenities across the nation, demanding higher therapy of detainees and for immigration insurance policies to be modified.
The Windfall Journal reported in Might 2019 that greater than 100 ICE detainees had been being held on the jail, which is publicly owned, however privately operated by the Central Falls Detention Facility Company. Wyatt additionally homes U.S. Marshals Service detainees, who’re sometimes awaiting federal trial, together with Federal Bureau of Prisons inmates, U.S. Navy detainees and detainees of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Daniel Martin has served because the jail’s warden since 2015.
Woodworth couldn’t be reached for remark by Heavy.
By no means Once more Motion says on its web site, “We’ve been taught the indicators by our ancestors. As our authorities runs focus camps, and rounds up and cages our neighbors, we’re referred to as to talk out: #NeverAgainIsNow. Please be a part of us and our immigrant allies within the battle to #ShutDownICE, #CloseTheCamps and cease the roundups and deportations.”
Right here’s what you could find out about Thomas Woodworth:
1. Video Reveals Thomas Woodworth Driving Into the Protesters & Then Different Wyatt Detention Facility Correctional Officers Pepper Spraying Them
A video, which may be seen above, recorded by By no means Once more Motion, which you’ll watch above, reveals protesters chanting and holding indicators, with a number of blocking the worker parking zone entrance on the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island. The protesters had been there from By no means Once more Windfall, an offshoot of the nationwide group.
About 30 seconds within the video, a black pickup truck may be heard honking because it speeds towards protesters sitting on the bottom within the parking zone entrance. The protesters begin yelling and rise up, because the truck continues to inch ahead. A few of the protesters begin banging on the truck’s hood because it continues towards them. Instantly, the truck’s driver, recognized as Thomas Woodworth, accelerates ahead at a number of of the protesters, knocking some to the bottom. The protesters proceed to scream and yell, “disgrace,” at Woodworth.
By no means Once more Motion wrote on Twitter,”Right here is HD video of an ICE guard driving his truck into us as we sat peacefully blocking the Wyatt Detention Middle. We’re placing our our bodies on the road as a result of we see the camps and the roundups. We’ve discovered from our ancestors: NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE.”
The protesters had been then pepper-sprayed by different detention middle officers, and that was additionally caught on video. Different movies present the incident and the aftermath:
“After the primary ICE guard ran us over along with his truck, the remainder of them ran over & pepper-sprayed us. The police current simply stood by and watched, doing nothing,” By no means Once more Motion tweeted. Central Falls Police and the Rhode Island State Police had been each on the scene.
J. Aaron Regunberg, a former Rhode Island state consultant and lieutenant governor candidate, tweeted video from the scene and wrote, “Tonight, a captain from the Wyatt drove right into a line of peaceable protesters. Then jail guards pepper sprayed us. In the event that they’ll do that to us, take into consideration the violence that immigrant detainees are topic to, daily. This is the reason we’re right here. No system this violent may be allowed to proceed.”
In accordance with the Windfall Journal, 5 protesters had been hospitalized. Jerry Belair, a 64-year-old man from Warren, Rhode Island, suffered a damaged leg, inside bleeding and a potential again harm, organizers informed the Journal. One other particular person, who was not recognized, was additionally injured by the truck. Three protesters had been hospitalized after being pepper sprayed. Telemundo stated its reporter, Cindy Bernal, was additionally hit by pepper spray.
One other tweet from By no means Once more Motion stated, “Tonight we skilled a tiny pattern of the violence ICE makes use of on our immigrant neighbors daily. An ICE guard drove his truck into our peaceable #JewsAgainstICE protest, then different guards got here out and pepper sprayed the gang. We’ll be again. … We fashioned 6 weeks in the past. Since then we’ve executed 36 actions throughout the nation, shutting down dozens of ICE detention facilities and discipline places of work, together with ICE Headquarters in DC. We’re simply getting began.”
2. He Beforehand Labored as a Correctional Officer for the State of Connecticut & Was Named in an Extreme Drive Lawsuit in 2007
Thomas Woodworth beforehand labored as a correctional officer for the state of Connecticut Division of Corrections, in line with on-line data. He final labored for the Connecticut DOC in 2010, and seems to have left the division that yr. He was working as a guard on the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Middle, a high-security jail, in Uncasville, Connecticut, on the time.
Woodworth was named in a 2007 federal lawsuit filed by a Connecticut inmate alleging extreme pressure throughout a 2005 incident. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, however a federal choose didn’t rule on the validity of the accusations. Woodworth was a lieutenant on the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Middle on the time of the 2005 incident. He was one among 15 DOC workers named within the lawsuit by inmate William Hamilton, who stated guards used extreme pressure in opposition to him after discovering contraband in his cell.
Woodworth is called as one among a number of officers who took half in a “violent wrestle” with Hamilton, in line with the lawsuit.
3. Woodworth Is From Pawcatuck, Connecticut, & Is a Captain on the Wyatt Detention Facility
Thomas Woodworth is a married father from Pawcatuck, Connecticut, in line with on-line data.
In accordance with Wyatt’s web site, the correctional officer captain is without doubt one of the higher-ranking positions on the jail. There are three shift captains at Wyatt, who oversee lieutenants, sergeants and officers. It’s not clear how lengthy Woodworth has labored on the Wyatt Detention Facility.
4. A number of Businesses Are Investigating Woodworth’s Actions Whereas He Is On Depart
A number of companies, together with the Rhode Island State Police, the Central Falls Police Division and the Rhode Island Lawyer Basic’s workplace are investigating Thomas Woodworth’s actions as a possible crime. Jail officers say Woodworth has been suspended and an investigation will probably be carried out by federal and Wyatt officers as nicely.
“Warden Daniel Martin can also be conducting a high to backside evaluate of the incident, Wyatt correctional officers’ response and Wyatt’s protocols relating to protest actions exterior of the power,” a press release from a Wyatt spokesman stated. “Captain Thomas Woodworth has been positioned on administrative go away pending the outcomes of the unbiased investigation carried out by the Rhode Island State Police, and Wyatt’s inside investigation. Wyatt helps the First Modification proper of residents to peacefully protest on public property surrounding the power and the First Modification proper of journalists to report on the power.”
Rhode Island politician Aaron Regunberg stated on Fb that police declined to intervene, didn’t detain the driving force and didn’t take witness statements from protesters. Regunberg wrote, “I additionally wish to make very clear that actually dozens of us from tonight’s protest requested, clamored, demanded that the police take witness statements concerning the assault, they usually actively refused to take action.”
Central Falls Police Chief Daniel Barzykowski informed the Windfall Journal that wasn’t true. “We requested anybody that noticed something to come back to the station and file a report [due to the number of people on the scene],” he informed the newspaper.
State Police Main Timothy Sanzi informed the newspaper they want witnesses to come back ahead. He added, “We’re wanting into any potential crime. We simply wish to guarantee the general public that we’re doing an entire and thorough investigation.”
Rhode Island Lawyer Basic Peter Neronha stated in a press release, “As soon as we’ve a full understanding of the related information, we are going to decide how you can proceed. Peaceable protest is a elementary proper of all Individuals; it’s unlucky final evening’s state of affairs unfolded because it did. We urge all to train restraint as our investigation proceeds.”
The Wyatt Detention Facility lately started taking in detained immigrants. The power had stopped holding ICE detainees in 2008 after a Chinese language man, Hiu Lui “Jason” Ng, died because of “merciless, inhumane, malicious and sadistic habits,” the ACLU stated in a wrongful loss of life lawsuit, in line with The Windfall Journal. Ng died of liver most cancers after being ignored by employees on the jail, in line with the ACLU.
“What occurred with Jason Ng was completely horrendous,” Steven Brown, government director of the Rhode Island ACLU informed the Windfall Journal in Might 2019. “I’m certain issues have modified over the course of a decade, however it’s completely important that there be essential oversight in the event that they’re going to start out holding these detainees once more. What occurred earlier than merely can’t occur once more.”
Brown added, “That is all about cash,” he stated. “They’re all the time rooting for extra individuals to fill their beds, sadly.”
ICE spokesman John Mohan informed the Journal in a press release, “As of March 10, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement and Elimination Operations (ERO) Boston began using house on the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to deal with ICE detainees. As with all ICE detention amenities, the Wyatt facility will adjust to the company’s rigorous detention requirements.”
5. State, Native & Federal Elected Officers in Rhode Island Reacted to the Incident With Anger & Known as for an Investigation
Elected officers in Rhode Island reacted with anger and requires an investigation after the incident was unfold on-line by organizers of the protest and their supporters.
“I share the outrage Rhode Islanders are feeling concerning the incident depicted within the video on the Wyatt Detention Middle,” Governor Gina Raimondo stated in a press release. “Our state and our nation had been constructed on the concept that everybody has a proper to precise their opinion publicly and peacefully. President Trump’s immigration insurance policies are immoral, and these Rhode Islanders had been exercising their constitutional proper to protest. I’m in communication with Rhode Island State Police Colonel Jim Manni relating to the occasions of final evening, and we’re dedicated to a full investigation.”
Home Minority Chief Blake Filippi, a Republican, stated on social media, “Anticipating swift and decisive motion by legislation enforcement. The actions by the truck driver don’t look like in self protection, or protection of others, from imminent hurt — the one justification for violence.”
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline stated on Twitter, “Very disturbing movies taken final evening exterior the Wyatt Detention Facility. The best of a free individuals to protest their authorities is key to our democracy. Wyatt wants to totally cooperate with the State Police and the Lawyer Basic throughout their investigation.”
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted, “RI was based on the precept of tolerance & there is no such thing as a place right here for any assault on peaceable protestors. This incident must be completely investigated & these accountable should be held accountable.” Fellow U.S. Senator Jack Reed added in a tweet, “Peaceable protest is an American proper. Final evening’s video may be very disturbing and the state police should swiftly examine.”
ICE spokesman John Mohan stated in a press release that personnel from the company weren’t concerned within the response to the protest and added, “amisinformation concerning the ICE mission continues to shroud the company’s essential legislation enforcement operate and unnecessarily places communities and ICE personnel in danger.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement totally respects the Constitutional rights of all individuals to peacefully and lawfully specific their opinions; nonetheless, the company will proceed to carry out its immigration enforcement mission in line with federal legislation and company coverage.”
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