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Prison Hand Grenade Video Goes Public after Lawsuit Settles

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By Kamika Dunlap on November 17, 2009 11:50 AM

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections has settled a lawsuit with the Associated Press by releasing a video of a guard tossing a non-lethal hand grenade into an inmate's cell.

The video was made public after the AP sued seeking a copy under the state's open records law. The department also agreed pay $5,000 to foot the bill for the AP's attorneys fees, the Associated Press reports.

The video footage shows a prison guard tossing a non-lethal stinger hand grenade, typically used for outdoor crowd control into an inmate's cell and running away as it detonates.

The AP originally requested the video after the state paid $49,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by inmate Raynard Jackson. He claimed the detonation of the grenade in his cell at a maximum security was excessive force.

The department did not admit any wrongdoing.

Under the settlement, the AP also agreed to allow the department to redact parts of the video that showed guards preparing for the use of force.

Jackson's case marks the first and only time a stinger grenade has been used inside a Wisconsin prison inmate's cell.

Legal experts say it is unusual for the department to go public with any video footage captured from inside the state's prisons.

Prison officials say they would no longer detonate such devices inside an inmate's cell but might consider doing so in event of an outdoor prison riot.

Jackson said he suffered from hearing loss after the blast.The stinger grenade causes a flash of light, a loud blast and the spraying of rubber pellets.

During those rare occasions when videos are released showing Wisconsin prison guards using force to remove inmates from their cells, generally it's shielded from the public under a court order.


 

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