Five Miami jail officers fired for bribing incarcerated teens to brutally assault each other

October 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This piece by Shaun King originally appeared at on October 1, 2015.

Screenshot of TV report on Elord Revolte

Four days after being arrested this past August, teenager Elord Revolte left the Miami lockup on a stretcher, beaten to a bloody pulp by as many as 20 other incarcerated teens. He died with too many injuries to name here. Now, we've just learned that five officers (including supervisors) inside of the jail have been fired for falsifying reports and bribing kids with drinks and snacks to brutally beat one another.

Sometimes it was for payback. Other times it appears the officers did it just as a cruel, cheap form of entertainment. Whatever the case, officers are literally using $1 honey buns to entice kids to beat and kill one another. In a deeply disturbing special report from Carol Marbin Miller of the Miami Herald, many human rights violations are detailed.

The Miami Herald first learned of the alleged connection between honey buns and beatings the day after Elord died, when his short-term foster mother described the practice in detail to a reporter, who then asked the public defenders in Miami-Dade and Broward counties if they were aware of it.

The next day, an assistant public defender told Osborne, his boss, that detainees at the Miami lockup — most of whom are represented by their office — had disclosed being offered honey buns by guards looking for someone to hurt another detainee.

“When I asked [the lawyer], ‘Why honey buns?’ he stated these kids are incarcerated, so they don’t get anything like that in here. In here, a honey bun is like a million dollars,” Osborne told the Herald.

The system was so horrific that when any of the kids even thought of speaking out, guards let them know that it might just have lethal consequences and repercussions for them as well.

“I will put a honey bun on your head if you don’t do what I say,” one detainee quoted a guard to his lawyer.

“Sometimes it’s Skittles,” Osborne said. “It’s not always honey buns. Sometimes it’s Snickers. If they really want a child hurt, and they really want to ensure a kid will do it, the big treat is any kind of fast food, like a cheeseburger.”

Now, kids, parents, public defenders, and community leaders from all across the region are confirming the practice of guards using honey buns and other snacks to enforce violent vendettas inside of the jails.


This type of cruel treatment, forcing hungry people to fight and even kill one another over food, has often been seen in prisoner of war and concentration camps. This appears to be exactly what is happening in Miami and throughout Florida.

Clients of the Broward Public Defender’s Office have told their lawyers that officers will order a pizza or Chinese food and offer leftovers to kids “who are willing to do their bidding.”

Part of the problem, Weekes said, is that the teenagers in DJJ custody seldom are given enough food to gain the caloric intake their bodies require. “These are teens, and all they want to do is eat and eat and eat and eat, because they’re growing,” Weekes said, adding that he had encouraged state juvenile justice authorities to allow detainees to get “seconds” in the chow line.



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