A prison fight caught on camera reveals that corrections officer Markeith Council repeatedly threw inmate Shon Demetrius McClain on the ground, which caused blunt force trauma to McClain’s head and eventually caused his death. Now, Council has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and will serve three months in the same prison he used to work in.
The incident happened at Wake County Detention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. The security video shows officer Council in an apparent altercation with McClain, a 40-year-old inmate. At a certain point, Council pushes McClain to the ground, which prompts the inmate to push back. That set something off in Council, who then proceeded to lift McClain up and throw him on the ground repeatedly. McClain died 13 days after the incident, which occurred on June 4th.
“I’m telling him that he needs to back up. Again, I’m telling him don’t let his friends get him in trouble. You could hear these guys saying something to him,” said Council, who says he was the only officer assigned to that block of 55 prisoners on the night of the incident. “I’ve got to get him off of me and get him secured. I’m worried about what is going on around me. Your mind shuts down and you go to what you know, which is your training. I was thinking about getting him off me.”
According to various reports, McClain was only sent to jail a week before the incident on an open container violation and minor drug related charges. McClain’s sister, Marlene Gilbert, says that her brother was a loving father and that Council’s actions were wrong.
“None of us are perfect,” she said. “The problem I have with Mr. Council is he has not at one time showed remorse. My brother has kids. He was a loving father. I made a decision to take him off life support the day after Father’s Day. I told my aunt, ‘Just wait. I am not going to let him die on Father’s Day.’”
Council’s wife is apparently five months pregnant and the couple already has a five-year-old daughter. Judge Paul Gessner said that he wouldn’t allow Council to see his daughter on her upcoming birthday because, “Mr. McClain will never spend another birthday with his daughter.”
In court, Council defended his actions and even gave an explanation for why he threw McClain to the ground two times, but his defense didn’t hold up in court.