A state corrections officer has been suspended for beating a 70-year-old cop killer who’s been behind bars for more than three decades, the Daily News has learned.
Corrections Officer Jeremy Saunders, who worked at the Great Meadow Correctional Facility, is accused — along with two other guards — of attacking former Black Liberation Army member Herman Bell on Sept. 5.
Saunders has been suspended without pay as an investigation into the alleged beatdown continues, sources told Daily News.
Bell, convicted of the 1971 murders of two cops in Harlem, was talking to his wife on the phone from the prison yard in upstate Comstock. A fight broke out among inmates.
A guard ordered Bell to get off the phone — which he claims he did. But when the fight was over, Bell was yanked from the line, taken to a secluded area and attacked, he claims.
In correspondence with his supporters that was posted on the website freehermanbell.org, Bell said he suffered “a vicious slap aside the head from behind” before he was shoved to the ground.
“I sustained multiple kicks, punches to the face and eyes, repeated head slams into concrete, and two cracked ribs,” he wrote.
Bell also says his eyes and mouth were burning from pepper spray.
Despite his injuries, Bell says he was transferred to solitary confinement as questions arose about the attack.
He was ultimately taken out of solitary confinement and transferred to the Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Wallkill, officials said.
Officials with the state Department of Corrections declined to comment on the status of the investigation.
“The department has zero tolerance for violence within the facilities and anyone engaged in misconduct will be disciplined and referred for outside prosecution,” a spokesman said.