The FBI arrested two Rikers Island corrections officers early Wednesday for the 2012 beating death of inmate Ronald Spear. The guards are Brian Coll (retired) and Byron Taylor (current). A third defendant and former corrections officer, Anthony Torres, has pleaded guilty. The criminal complaint alleges that Coll repeatedly kicked Spear in the head while Taylor and other corrections officers held him down—even after one of the officers tried to get Coll to stop. During this assault, Spear was face-down on the prison floor. The complaint also alleges that Coll subsequently raised Spear’s head and told him, “That’s what you get for fucking with me.” After Coll dropped Spear’s head, it hit the prison floor.
New York City paid $2.75 million in 2014 to settle a lawsuit connected to Spear’s death. The medical examiner’s office concluded that Spear, who reportedly walked with a cane and suffered from kidney problems, was killed by “blunt force trauma” to the head.