August 26, 2015
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LIVE OAK, Fla. –The Florida Department of Corrections Office of Inspector General arrested Correctional Officers Kiree Twiggs and Jo Ann Lopez today following a criminal investigation. They have been charged with Battery and Falsifying Official Records. The charges stem from an incident which occurred on June 15, 2015 at Suwannee Correctional Institution (SCI). The Department is terminating the employment of the two aforementioned individuals.
Secretary Julie Jones said, “It is the responsibility of the Department’s correctional officers to utilize the utmost discipline and professionalism when working with those in our custody. The actions of these officers are both disturbing and completely unacceptable. The Office of Inspector General has my full support in aggressively pursuing those whose actions are detrimental to the Department’s goals of increasing accountability and safety within our institutions.”
The Office of Inspector General initiated a criminal investigation following the review of a use of force reported by Twiggs and Lopez. During the course of the investigation it was revealed that Officer Lopez applied chemical agents to two inmates during a counseling session and without provocation. Subsequent to this action, Officer Twiggs slammed both inmates on the ground without justification. Both officers later submitted falsified official documents in an attempt to justify their improper use of force.
For more information regarding the Department’s Correctional Officers and the Office of Institutions, please visit http://www.dc.state.fl.us/orginfo/ci.html.
Please see attached affidavit.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.