Triangle reacts to inmate death - WFLA News Channel 8

Triangle reacts to inmate death

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Selene Mayer is a correctional officer at Caledonia Prison in Halifax County. After she saw the surveillance video of Wake County Correctional Officer Markeith Council slamming inmate Shon Demetrius McClain to the ground, she understood why Council had to do it.

"When somebody's coming after you and you're in that type of situation where you're outnumbered, you're trying to get that situation handled quickly, as quickly as possible. He probably thought his life was in danger. He was by himself surrounded by 20 -25 probably more inmates," Mayer said.

Earlier today, Council took the stand to share his side of the story.

He said, "You assume you're about to get punched. So I pushed him back and told him to get back. I'm telling him don't let his friends get him in trouble, because again you can hear these guys saying stuff to him."

The surveillance video clearly shows a verbal altercation, followed by the officer and inmate struggling, and then Council slamming the inmate to the ground.

For the last six years Mike Cohen has been sending prisoners letters and books all over the country as part of his work with the Chapel Hill-based Prison Books Collective.

"This happens all the time. We get letters from prisoners all the time articulating abuses of this nature," said Cohen.

He said just because they show aggression, does not mean they should suffer abuse.

"I don't think that gives officers the license to kill a prisoner as soon as they feel threatened," said Cohen.

But officer Mayer doesn't believe any guard intends to kill, but rather quickly control a situation before it gets worse.

"If they put their minds to it, prisoners can take over that facility. Your heart starts racing, your hands sweating, you react. That's what they train us to do. React," Mayer said.

RELATED STORIES

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

  • Wake CountyMore>>

  • Cary Police release sketch of man accused of sexual assault

    Cary Police release sketch of man accused of sexual assault

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 17:21:35 GMT
    Sketch of man accused of sexual assault in CarySketch of man accused of sexual assault in Cary
    Cary police have released a sketch of the man accused of sexually assaulting a young woman Saturday.At about 9 a.m. Saturday, police responded to the Hawthorne at the Parkway complex in Cary, where the 20-year-old woman reported that a man who had been behind her in traffic followed her home, pulled up to her in the parking lot and warned her of damage to her vehicle.After thanking him she headed to her apartment, where the same man pushed her inside as she was unlocking the door.The suspect ...
    Cary police have released a sketch of the man accused of sexually assaulting a young woman Saturday.At about 9 a.m. Saturday, police responded to the Hawthorne at the Parkway complex in Cary, where the 20-year-old woman reported that a man who had been behind her in traffic followed her home, pulled up to her in the parking lot and warned her of damage to her vehicle.After thanking him she headed to her apartment, where the same man pushed her inside as she was unlocking the door.The suspect ...
  • 2 more charged in Wake Forest kidnapping case

    2 more charged in Wake Forest kidnapping case

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 1:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 17:00:50 GMT
    Two more people have been charged in the case of Frank Janssen, who was kidnapped in Wake Forest.
    Two more people have been charged in the case of Frank Janssen, who was kidnapped in Wake Forest.
  • Committee weighs how to protect water in Jordan Lake

    Committee weighs how to protect water in Jordan Lake

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:35 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:35:09 GMT
    The threat of pollution in Jordan Lake has stirred up debate in the Triangle and the Triad.
    The threat of pollution in Jordan Lake has stirred up debate in the Triangle and the Triad.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.