Former HCCC supervisor who ‘encouraged’ others to brutally beat inmate is sentenced
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former supervisor at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for his role in the assault of an inmate and trying to cover up the abuse.
The Department of Justice said Jonathan Taum oversaw the incident in 2015.
Authorities said the inmate, Chawn Kaili, was hit and kicked 45 times over two minutes. Officials said he suffered a broken jaw, nose and orbital socket.
According to court documents, Taum “verbally encouraged” the other officers to continue beating the inmate.
Furthermore, in the months and years that followed the incident, the DOJ said Taum led the officers in a cover-up conspiracy that included writing false reports, submitting false statements to internal affairs and providing false testimony to disciplinary board members.
In 2019, HNN spoke with Taum who said, “The areas the ACOs were striking was mass muscle areas. I didn’t see any illegal strikes.”
“My training was in 1998 and that’s the only training I’ve ever had as far as the physically force training of it. And there was never any refresher course for that,” he added.
All four officers in the incident were fired.
In July, three were found guilty, including Taum.
A fourth officer took a plea deal and testified against the others.
“His sentence makes clear that no one is above the law, and that when officers violate the civil rights of people under their supervision — through violence or obstruction — they will be held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
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