An Orleans Parish Prison inmate has been accused of committing a hate crime in an attack on another prisoner last month in the lockup’s temporary tent facilities.
An inquiry by Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s Investigative Services Bureau found that the inmate, Johnell Logan, 36, punched a gay inmate in the nose.
The 23-year-old inmate targeted in the attack told investigators that Logan, known as “Pharaoh” in the jail, previously had called him and his boyfriend derogatory names and “discriminated against his sexual orientation,” according to an arrest report.
The attack happened July 25, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Logan “hastily approached” the man and assaulted him as he was playing cards with his boyfriend, the report says. Other inmates began hitting the man as well, according to the report.
The victim told investigators that “someone pulled him to the ground,” the report says, and that he “balled up, realizing there were more people hitting him.” The man said he received injuries to his face and right hand.
Logan, who had been jailed on counts of bail jumping and illegal carrying of a weapon, was rebooked last week on felony counts of hate crime and second-degree battery.
The assault underscored the continuing violence at OPP that has concerned inmate advocates and the federal judge overseeing a court-ordered series of reforms at the jail.
Last week, a team of experts appointed to oversee the reforms testified that inmate-on-inmate attacks still are occurring at an alarming rate nearly two years into the reform effort.
The conditions at the jail remain so poor, in fact, that the lead monitor recommended that all of the city’s inmates be transferred to jails in other parishes if a new 1,438-bed jail does not open, as scheduled, by Sept. 15.
In testimony last week, Margo Frasier, a former Texas sheriff who also is supervising the reforms, described the jail as having an “unacceptable level of violence for human beings to be in.”
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