DC corrections officer sentenced to more than 3 years behind bars for assaulting inmate

A former D.C. corrections officer was sentenced to more than three years behind bars Friday for assaulting a handcuffed inmate by ramming the inmate’s head into a metal door frame in 2019.

Marcus Bias, 28, was handed down a sentence of 42 months in prison followed by 24 months of supervised release.

Bias previously pleaded guilty in March and had initially been accused in 2022.

“This defendant had a duty to treat people in his custody humanely,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

“The defendant is being held accountable for violently ramming an inmate’s head into a metal door frame while the victim was handcuffed, surrounded by six officers and posed no threat. The Justice Department will vigorously investigate and prosecute such excessive force against prisoners and will insist that corrections officers respect the civil and constitutional rights of those entrusted to their care,” she added.

U.S. Attorney for D.C. Matthew M. Graves said: “Like any other law enforcement officer, the defendant had a duty to protect the constitutional rights of anyone who was in his care and custody.”

Graves added that Bias ignored that responsibility when he assaulted the inmate and that similar assaults are “civil rights violations that will be prosecuted” by his office.

According to the Justice Department, the victim, identified only as J.W., “had his hands handcuffed behind his back, was suffering from the effects of O.C. spray, was surrounded by five other officers and was not resisting. J.W.’s injuries required emergency medical attention at a hospital.”

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Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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