Thomas Woodworth is a correctional officer at Wyatt Detention Facility who drove his pickup truck into anti-ICE protesters on the Rhode Island federal prison throughout a protest towards the Trump administration’s immigration insurance policies led by the Jewish group Never Again Action. Woodworth, a 53-year-old captain at the privately run facility, has been positioned on depart amid an investigation into his actions.
Two individuals have been injured by Woodworth’s truck and three others have been hospitalized from accidents suffered in the aftermath of the protesters being rammed at the entrance to the jail in Central Falls, Rhode Island, By no means Once more Motion organizers say. Correctional officers used pepper spray on the protesters after they have been hit by the truck, video exhibits.
The protest is certainly one of many being held by By no means Once more Action around 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 Providence Journal studies. The peaceable protest turned violent about 9:50 p.m. when Woodworth drove his pickup truck into protesters blocking a parking zone at the entrance to the prison’s employee parking zone.
No protesters have been arrested. About 600 protesters took part within the gathering, with about 30 blocking the doorway to the parking zone, the Boston Herald studies. The By no means Again Action group has used #JewsAgainstICE as they’ve led dozens of protests at ICE amenities around the nation, demanding better remedy of detainees and for immigration insurance policies to be changed.
The Providence Journal reported in Might 2019 that more than 100 ICE detainees have been being held at the prison, which is publicly owned, but privately operated by the Central Falls Detention Facility Company. Wyatt additionally homes U.S. Marshals Service detainees, who’re sometimes awaiting federal trial, along with Federal Bureau of Prisons inmates, U.S. Navy detainees and detainees of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Daniel Martin has served as the jail’s warden since 2015.
Woodworth couldn’t be reached for comment by Heavy.
Never Again Motion says on its web site, “We’ve been taught the signs by our ancestors. As our government runs concentration camps, and rounds up and cages our neighbors, we are called to speak out: #NeverAgainIsNow. Please join us and our immigrant allies in the fight to #ShutDownICE, #CloseTheCamps and stop the roundups and deportations.”
Right here’s what you want to find out about Thomas Woodworth:
- 1 1. A Filmmaker Recording the Protest Stated He Thought He Was Taking Video of ‘the Next Heather Heyer’ Moment
- 2 2. He Previously Labored as a Correctional Officer for the State of Connecticut & Was Named in an Extreme Pressure Lawsuit in 2007
- 3 three. Woodworth Is From Pawcatuck, Connecticut, & Is a Captain at the Wyatt Detention Facility
- 4 4. Several Businesses Are Investigating Woodworth’s Actions While He Is On Depart
- 5 5. State, Local & Federal Elected Officers in Rhode Island Reacted to the Incident With Anger & Referred to as for an Investigation
1. A Filmmaker Recording the Protest Stated He Thought He Was Taking Video of ‘the Next Heather Heyer’ Moment
A video, which might be seen above, recorded by Never Once more Motion, which you’ll be able to watch above, exhibits protesters chanting and holding signs, with several blocking the worker parking zone entrance at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island. The protesters have been there from By no means Again Windfall, an offshoot of the national organization.
About 30 seconds in the video, a black pickup truck may be heard honking as it speeds towards protesters sitting on the ground within the parking zone entrance. The protesters begin yelling and rise up, because the truck continues to inch forward. A few of the protesters begin banging on the truck’s hood as it continues towards them. Instantly, the truck’s driver, recognized as Thomas Woodworth, accelerates ahead at several of the protesters, knocking some to the ground. The protesters proceed to scream and yell, “shame,” at Woodworth.
By no means Once more Action wrote on Twitter,”Here is HD video of an ICE guard driving his truck into us as we sat peacefully blocking the Wyatt Detention Middle. We’re putting our bodies on the road because we see the camps and the roundups. We’ve discovered from our ancestors: NEVER AGAIN FOR ANYONE.”
Filmmaker Sam Eilertsen, who was recording video for Never Again Motion, informed the Boston Globe, “It was shocking and horrifying. I was panicking and thought, ‘Am I filming the next Heather Heyer moment?’”
Heyer was killed in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, when a neo-Nazi drove his automotive into counterprotesters at the “Unite the Right” rally.
The protesters have been then pepper-sprayed by different detention middle officers, and that was additionally caught on video. Other movies present the incident and the aftermath:
“After the first ICE guard ran us over with his truck, the rest of them ran over & pepper-sprayed us. The police present just stood by and watched, doing nothing,” Never Again Action tweeted. Central Falls Police and the Rhode Island State Police have been both 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 into a line of peaceful protesters. Then prison guards pepper sprayed us. If they’ll do this to us, think about the violence that immigrant detainees are subject to, every day. This is why we’re here. No system this violent can be allowed to continue.”
In accordance to the Windfall Journal, five protesters have been hospitalized. Jerry Belair, a 64-year-old man from Warren, Rhode Island, suffered a broken leg, inner bleeding and a attainable back damage, organizers informed the Journal. Another individual, who was not identified, was additionally injured by the truck. Three protesters have been hospitalized after being pepper sprayed. Telemundo stated its reporter, Cindy Bernal, was additionally hit by pepper spray.
Another tweet from Never Again Motion stated, “Tonight we experienced a tiny sample of the violence ICE uses on our immigrant neighbors every day. An ICE guard drove his truck into our peaceful #JewsAgainstICE protest, then other guards came out and pepper sprayed the crowd. We’ll be back. … We formed 6 weeks ago. Since then we’ve done 36 actions across the country, shutting down dozens of ICE detention centers and field offices, including ICE Headquarters in DC. We’re just getting started.”
2. He Previously Labored as a Correctional Officer for the State of Connecticut & Was Named in an Extreme Pressure Lawsuit in 2007
Thomas Woodworth previously labored as a correctional officer for the state of Connecticut Department of Corrections, according to on-line data. He final worked for the Connecticut DOC in 2010, and appears to have left the division that yr. He was working as a guard on the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Middle, a high-security prison, in Uncasville, Connecticut, on the time.
Woodworth was named in a 2007 federal lawsuit filed by a Connecticut inmate alleging extreme drive throughout a 2005 incident. The lawsuit was ultimately dismissed, but a federal decide 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 in every of 15 DOC staff named in the lawsuit by inmate William Hamilton, who stated guards used extreme drive towards him after discovering contraband in his cell.
Woodworth is known as as one among several officers who took part in a “violent struggle” with Hamilton, according to the lawsuit.
three. Woodworth Is From Pawcatuck, Connecticut, & Is a Captain at the Wyatt Detention Facility
Thomas Woodworth is a married father from Pawcatuck, Connecticut, in accordance to on-line data.
In accordance to Wyatt’s website, the correctional officer captain is likely one of the higher-ranking positions on the prison. There are three shift captains at Wyatt, who oversee lieutenants, sergeants and officers. It isn’t clear how lengthy Woodworth has labored on the Wyatt Detention Facility.
4. Several Businesses Are Investigating Woodworth’s Actions While He Is On Depart
A number of businesses, including the Rhode Island State Police, the Central Falls Police Department and the Rhode Island Lawyer Basic’s workplace are investigating Thomas Woodworth’s actions as a possible crime. Prison officials say Woodworth has been suspended and an investigation can be carried out by federal and Wyatt officials as nicely.
“Warden Daniel Martin is also conducting a top to bottom review of the incident, Wyatt correctional officers’ response and Wyatt’s protocols regarding protest activities outside of the facility,” a press release from a Wyatt spokesman stated. “Captain Thomas Woodworth has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the independent investigation conducted by the Rhode Island State Police, and Wyatt’s internal investigation. Wyatt supports the First Amendment right of citizens to peacefully protest on public property surrounding the facility and the First Amendment right of journalists to report on the facility.”
Rhode Island politician Aaron Regunberg stated on Fb that police declined to intervene, didn’t detain the driving force and did not take witness statements from protesters. Regunberg wrote, “I also want to make very clear that literally dozens of us from tonight’s protest asked, clamored, demanded that the police take witness statements about the attack, and they actively refused to do so.”
Central Falls Police Chief Daniel Barzykowski advised the Windfall Journal that wasn’t true. “We asked anyone that saw anything to come to the station and file a report [due to the number of people on the scene],” he advised the newspaper.
State Police Major Timothy Sanzi advised the newspaper they would like witnesses to come ahead. He added, “We are looking into any possible crime. We just want to assure the public that we are doing a complete and thorough investigation.”
Rhode Island Lawyer Common Peter Neronha stated in a press release, “Once we have a full understanding of the relevant facts, we will determine how to proceed. Peaceful protest is a fundamental right of all Americans; it is unfortunate last night’s situation unfolded as it did. We urge all to exercise 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 man, Hiu Lui “Jason” Ng, died because of “cruel, inhumane, malicious and sadistic behavior,” the ACLU stated in a wrongful demise lawsuit, according to The Providence Journal. Ng died of liver most cancers after being ignored by employees at the prison, according to the ACLU.
“What happened with Jason Ng was absolutely horrendous,” Steven Brown, government director of the Rhode Island ACLU informed the Providence Journal in Might 2019. “I’m sure things have changed over the course of a decade, but it is absolutely essential that there be critical oversight if they’re going to start holding these detainees again. What happened before simply cannot happen again.”
Brown added, “This is all about money,” he stated. “They are always rooting for more people to fill their beds, unfortunately.”
ICE spokesman John Mohan informed the Journal in a press release, “As of March 10, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Boston started utilizing space at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to house ICE detainees. As with all ICE detention facilities, the Wyatt facility will comply with the agency’s rigorous detention standards.”
5. State, Local & Federal Elected Officers in Rhode Island Reacted to the Incident With Anger & Referred to as for an Investigation
Elected officers in Rhode Island reacted with anger and requires an investigation after the incident was spread on-line by organizers of the protest and their supporters.
“I share the outrage Rhode Islanders are feeling about the incident depicted in the video at the Wyatt Detention Center,” Governor Gina Raimondo stated in a press release. “Our state and our nation were built on the idea that everyone has a right to express their opinion publicly and peacefully. President Trump’s immigration policies are immoral, and these Rhode Islanders were exercising their constitutional right to protest. I am in communication with Rhode Island State Police Colonel Jim Manni regarding the events of last night, and we are committed to a full investigation.”
House Minority Leader Blake Filippi, a Republican, stated on social media, “Expecting swift and decisive action by law enforcement. The actions by the truck driver don’t appear to be in self defense, or defense of others, from imminent harm — the only justification for violence.”
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline stated on Twitter, “Very disturbing videos taken last night outside the Wyatt Detention Facility. The right of a free people to protest their government is fundamental to our democracy. Wyatt needs to fully cooperate with the State Police and the Attorney General during their investigation.”
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted, “RI was founded on the principle of tolerance & there is no place here for any assault on peaceful protestors. This incident needs to be thoroughly investigated & those responsible must be held accountable.” Fellow U.S. Senator Jack Reed added in a tweet, “Peaceful protest is an American right. Last night’s video is very disturbing and the state police must swiftly investigate.”
The ACLU of Rhode Island’s government director Steven Brown stated in a press release, “Last night’s incident outside the Wyatt Detention Facility was unconscionable, and nothing less than an attempt to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights by hundreds of peaceful protesters.”
Brown added, “While some of the protesters may have been obstructing the entrance to a parking lot, there are many mechanisms available to police to address such conduct. However, a correctional officer’s deliberate deployment of a pickup truck to push people away from the lot, and the indiscriminate use of pepper spray on the protesters by Wyatt guards were completely unacceptable uses of force. We are pleased that the Attorney General has agreed to conduct an investigation of this disturbing incident, and we look forward to seeing the appropriate individuals held accountable for what happened.”
ICE spokesman John Mohan stated in a press release that personnel from the company were not involved within the response to the protest and added, “misinformation about the ICE mission continues to shroud the agency’s critical law enforcement function and unnecessarily puts communities and ICE personnel at risk.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement fully respects the Constitutional rights of all people to peacefully and lawfully express their opinions; however, the agency will continue to perform its immigration enforcement mission consistent with federal law and agency policy.”
READ NEXT: White Lady Pulls Gun on 4 Black Teens Fundraising for Soccer Group: Cops