Punishment or policy? Claims of mistreatment at Atlanta's jail

- He alleges he was treated in a cruel and unusual manner in the way he was held in solitary confinement at Atlanta's City Detention Center.

It's a case which was taken up Thursday night by Atlanta's Citizen Review Board, which is an oversight board which looks into police conduct.

Nigerian Ayo Oyakhire was an ICE hold at the Atlanta City Detention Center which houses immigration detainees, among others.

His claim that he was mistreated by a jail employee who placed him in segregation in November of last year for 45 straight days was investigated by Atlanta's Citizen Review Board.

"For basically for arguing about the television, allegedly bullying and allegedly using slurs and he was placed for his own protection," said Kevin Caron, with Georgia Detention Watch.

Oyakhire according to ICE was deported back to Nigeria but Caron and other advocacy groups appeared in his defense.

Psychiatrist Dr. Kevin Simon, with Physicians for Criminal Justice Reform, cited the World Health Organization.

"Ayo was detained or in solitary confinement which we view as inhumane, in turn, organizations like the W.H.O. consider it torture," said Dt. Simon.

Dr. Simon and the others wanted the board to recommend the city sanction the corrections officer involved but after their own investigation, the board cleared him of any wrongdoing.

The board unanimously approved a resolution exonerating the officer involved.

ICE released the following statement:

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is firmly committed to the safety and welfare of those in its custody

“ICE facilities are subject to regular inspections, and the Atlanta City Detention Center has repeatedly been found to operate in compliance with ICE’s rigorous national detention standards.”

Oyakhire supporters believe he was shortchanged.

"It's only right he be compensated in some way but more than anything I don't want to see this happen again," said Caron.

Public records indicate Ohyakhire was initially arrested on a series of domestic violence misdemeanor charges.

The city of Atlanta said the city's department of corrections concluded the actions of the employee involved were within the department's policies and procedures. And that the chief of corrections will examine the Citizens Review Board findings and provide a written response.

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