LEE COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A new lawsuit naming the South Carolina Department of Corrections as the defendant has been filed, alleging SCDC's complacency and mismanagement enabled inmates to stab him at least eight times and left him wounded and bleeding for hours without assistance during April's riot at Lee Correctional Institute.
Reakwon Watson, an inmate housed in Lee Correctional Institute, filed the suit Monday morning and says within it that SCDC failed to provide "adequate and/or specific number of properly trained security guards at numerous locations throughout the facility." Watson was inside the F-3 Unit, which the suit cites as being filled with the "most violent offenders."
The lawsuit also alleges that a "large percentage" of the population either carried or had access to weapons that included makeshift knives with which to inflict physical harm. The lawsuit cites SCDC policies, saying that all inmates were required to be under direct supervision and there should have been at least one correctional officer present in each wing of each unit 24 hours per day, but Watson alleges that there was only one officer working both wings of the F-3 unit.
Watson says that all of the interior doors, which includes the cell and wing doors, were unlocked, allowing inmates to move from wing to wing. This led to Watson being stabbed at least eight times all over his body, according to the lawsuit. The inmates that attacked Watson moved on to attack other inmates, Watson alleges, and Watson was left to bleed, calling for help for several hours before SCDC and SLED officers were able to regain control of the unit and render medical attention.
The lawsuit seeks damages for actual and consequential damages, the costs of this action, and for such other and "further relief as this Court deems just and proper."
You can view the lawsuit in its entirety below: