A former Philadelphia Department of Prisons sergeant pleaded guilty in federal court in Philadelphia to a civil rights charge and falsification of records related to the use of excessive force on a detainee.
During the plea hearing, Ronald C. Granville, 42, admitted that on Oct. 6, 2020, he was ordered by a senior officer to supervise a strip-search of an individual whose initials were V.H., a pre-trial detainee housed at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility (CFCF) in Philadelphia. At approximately 9:00 p.m., Granville and four correctional officers escorted V.H. to his cell to conduct the strip-search. After V.H. complied with the correctional officers’ orders and was naked, Granville and other officers physically assaulted V.H. As a result of the assault, V.H. was hospitalized with injuries to his face, ribs and scrotum, and had to undergo emergency surgery. Following the assault, the defendant and other officers submitted and helped submit false reports about the incident. The investigation into the other correctional officers’ actions is ongoing.
“This defendant is being held accountable for using excessive force and violating the Constitutional rights of a detainee under his care, custody and control,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to work with our federal, state and local partners to investigative and prosecute law enforcement officers who violate federal criminal civil rights laws.”
“A uniform and a badge do not provide a license to brutalize,” said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our partners at the FBI and DOJ’s Civil Rights Division will devote the personnel and resources necessary to ensure that excessive force cases are investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. As law enforcement, we must maintain the highest standards of conduct to protect the integrity of our criminal justice system and the civil rights of all Americans, while recognizing with gratitude that the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers do just that every day.”
“While those behind bars may have lost their freedom, they retain their humanity — and their civil rights,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire of the FBI Philadelphia Field Office. “Battering a compliant detainee is indefensible, and the FBI is committed to seeking justice for the victims of such violence and other criminal misconduct.”
A sentencing date has been set for April 25. Granville faces up to 30 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $500,000.
The FBI Philadelphia Field Office and the Philadelphia Department of Prisons investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nancy E. Potts and Everett R. Witherell for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Daniel E. Grunert of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case.