Cortez Berry, an 18-year-old inmate at a Georgia prison, is the focus of outrage and concern after a photo showing him beaten and tied with a leash went viral. Berry’s family is searching for answers, and what’s even more shocking is that guards didn’t know that the teenager was injured before the photo was posted online.
The photo shows Berry severely beaten and kneeling between two shirtless inmates flashing gang signs with a leash tied around his neck. The other inmates were supposedly members of the Gangster Disciples gang and posted this caption along with the photo: “WEN YHU DISRESPECT DA NATION…IT BRINGZ NUTHIN BUT PAIN & SUFFERINGG..”
The incident occurred at the Burruss Correctional Training Center in the town of Forsyth, and the photo was uploaded to Facebook last Friday (Mar. 27). Local news outlet WRDW reported that Berry has been since been transferred to Smith State Prison in Glennville.
Berry was serving eight and a half years for a 2011 arrest for assault, robbery and car theft when he was 14. Berry was at Burruss for a year and only had one disciplinary report on his record for missing a haircut appointment. Berry was also taking continuing education courses.
More from WRDW:
His mother, Demetria Harris, was first alerted by a friend that the disturbing photo of her son was circulating on Facebook Friday.
“I was like oh my God! What happened? How’d it happen? It’s a terrifying picture to see,” she said.
A million questions flooded her mind when she saw the photo. Was her son okay? How did a cell phone make it into the prison? Where were the guards?
“I want justice for him. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get it for him, because at the end of the day, he don’t deserve this. No one deserves this,” she said.
The Georgia Department of Corrections has reported that it will continue to investigate the matter. Berry’s family has rallied together and is seeking justice for the teen.
Hit the next page to see the full photo of Cortez Berry. A warning: the photo displays results of violence.