A former Prince George’s County correctional officer has been indicted by a federal jury on charges related to the death of an inmate in the county’s correctional facility in 2008.

Anthony McIntosh, 48, has been charged with a federal civil rights violation for deprivation of rights in connection to the death of 19-year-old Ronnie White, who was awaiting trial on charges that he killed a police officer in the county.

The indictment alleges that McIntosh walked away from White after witnessing the inmate in urgent need of medical care. It says his “deliberate indifference” was a major contributing factor in White’s death.

Charges also state that McIntosh falsified an incident report in which he indicated one of his colleagues informed him that White was unresponsive in his cell when he already had discovered White in his cell in need of emergency medical attention.

The indictment also alleges McIntosh lied to Prince George’s County Police to back up the claims in his report.

On June 27, 2008, Corporal Richard Findley had identified a vehicle he believed to have been stolen. As he approached the vehicle, police alleged that White hit the gas and hit Findley. Findley later died from his injuries. White and three other individuals were taken in for questioning after the vehicle was located at a nearby apartment complex.

Just one day later, while White awaited trial, he was found dead in his cell. Medical examiners ruled that the cause of death was strangulation and asphyxiation.

The controversy garnered a great deal of media attention as White’s mother, Linda White, her attorney and the county branch of the NAACP called for federal intervention in the matter.

Their cries were answered after a local investigation was launched into White’s death to determine if correctional officers killed White as retribution for allegedly running over Findley. Former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey deemed there wasn’t sufficient evidence to try anyone for murder in the case and decided his office would not file charges.

Maryland State Police and the FBI continued to work the case following that.
The indictment doesn’t provide any more insight into what contributed to White’s death. White’s mother, Angela White, launched a lawsuit against McIntosh, other correctional officers and the county. Court records show that the suit against the correctional facility was dismissed, but it still remains against the officers.

McIntosh was arrested in New York where he is currently residing and is awaiting a hearing there. There has been no word on when he’ll be extradited back to Maryland.

He faces a maximum of 20 years for the civil rights charge and 20 years for each charge of falsification of records. He could also have to pay a $250,000 fine for each offense.

 

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO