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Prison officers in Florida charged with murder in connection with beatings

Three Florida detectives were arrested Thursday and charged with the fatal beating of a handcuffed prisoner who had thrown urine at one of the officers, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced.

The guards were in the process of removing the inmate from a cell in the mental health unit of a Miami-Dade County jail on Feb. 14 to transfer him to a North Florida jail. After the inmate threw urine at the officer, they handcuffed him, and a beating followed, the department informs.

“After the inmate was removed even though he was handcuffed and following the officer’s commands, agents say officers began beating him. The inmate was beaten so hard that he had to be carried to the transport vehicle, the department said in a press release.

The inmate, who was not identified in the statement, was placed alone in what authorities described as a safe space inside the van.

The van stopped along the way and that was when the inmate was found dead, lying on a bench inside the vehicle, the statement added. A doctor says the death was caused by a punctured lung that led to internal bleeding. The inmate also had bruises on his face and upper body.

Authorities said three detectives were arrested early Thursday: Christopher Rolon, 29, Kirk Walton, 34, and Ronald Connor, 24. Each is charged with second-degree murder, among other offenses.

All were detained without bail and online prison records did not show lawyers for the men.

Authorities said they were looking for a fourth officer involved in the case. They did not reveal his identity.

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