FORSYTHE, Ga. — The posting of a cellphone photo showing a young man being beaten and then collared as if he were a pet has exposed the dysfunction exemplified in Georgia’s prisons.
The photo shows a man with an eye swollen shut from pummeling he had just endured, and then made to wear a dog collar, which was captured at the Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, Ga.
Cortez Berry, 18, who is serving time in prison from a 2011 carjacking and robbery, was made to kneel on the floor with a dog collar around his neck as his tormentors stand above him, including one who held the collar.
How the photo was taken by a fellow inmate that was illegally smuggled into the prison is the question. The photo was uploaded on Facebook and it almost immediately went viral.
Berry’s family members found out about the humiliating photo via cyberspace. Berry’s mother shared her outrage to the Georgia Department of Corrections and demands an explanation as to how this could take place.
‘I was like oh my God! What happened? How’d it happen? It’s a terrifying picture to see,’ Berry’s mother, Demetria Harris, told WRDW in Augusta, Ga., about a three-hour drive east of Atlanta.
During a visit by a family member, according to the The Daily Mail, Berry told her he was beaten by 10 other inmates who then choked him until he was unconscious.
The aunt, Shavondria Wright, said the gang basically “choked him to sleep.”
“Pretty much they left him there for dead,” she added.
The caption of the uploaded photo posted on Facebook reads: “When you disrespect the Nation, it brings nothing but pain and suffering.”
According to the Daily Mail, the G.D. Nation is short for “Gangsta Disciples.”
Berry also complained because he suffered the injuries at approximately 3 p.m. but didn’t reportedly get seen by the prison medical staff until almost 10 p.m.
Berry’s family has contemplated taking legal action on the basis of negligence and the failure of proper oversight in the prison.
Since the image went viral, the prison has been put on lock down as the Georgia Department of Corrections conducts an investigation into the matter.