Federal lawsuit claims Vermilion Co. officers beat an inmate

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DANVILLE, Ill. (WAND) - The Vermilion County Sheriff's Department is facing a federal lawsuit that claims correctional officers at the county jail beat an inmate.

Attorneys for the former inmate, 23-year-old Willie Richardson, filed the lawsuit in January alleging officers used excessive force on him in December.

Richardson claims he was playing cards on Dec. 3 when a correctional officer verbally insulted him for no reason. Richardson approached the officer and asked why he was insulting him. Officers ordered the cell block to be locked up. Attorneys said three officers escorted Richardson to a sally port where one of the officers punched him in the face and two others kneed him in the ribs and kicked him in the face.

The complaint said he was taken to the sally port, because there are no cameras there. It also said Richardson was repeatedly hit in the back of the head while he was handcuffed in another area of the jail.

Richardson said he was offered Ibuprofen, but was kept in segregation until Dec. 7 to conceal the abuse.

The sheriff's department denied the allegations. One of the correctional officers admitted to hitting Richardson once, but denied all other allegations.

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