A photo of a Georgia teenager beaten and tied to a leash went viral after his fellow prison inmates posted a photo on Facebook. The teenager, Cortez Berry, is kneeling on the floor with a makeshift leash around his neck. One of his eyes is swollen shut.
Berry, 18, is an inmate at Al Burruss Correctional Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia. Berry's birthday fell on Saturday, but on Friday, he told his aunt Shavondria Wright that his fellow inmates tried to get him to join the gang Gangster Disciples, reports NBC.
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Wright said Berry told her, "They said bro, you might as well go ahead and join the GD, because you're about to turn 18," referring to the fact that Berry would be moved to the adult section of Al Burruss.
Berry told his aunt that when he refused, they beat him and tied him to a leash. They posted photos on Facebook with the caption "WEN YHU DISRESPECT DA NATION...IT BRINGZ NUTHIN BUT PAIN & SUFFERINGG.."
"Ten people jumped on him and just kept beating him and they choked him to sleep. Pretty much they left him there for dead," Wright told WRDW. Berry's mother, Demetria Harris, said her son didn't get checked on for more than six hours. "It happened at 3:15 and he didn't get checked on until 9:45," said Harris.
Berry was initially in the August Youth Department of Corrections when he was 14 for assault, robbery and theft. He was sent to Burruss, a medium security prison, last year after violating his probation. He has been transferred to Smith State Prison, a high security facility, reports WRDW.
It is unclear how the other two men in the photo had access to a mobile device. The Department of Corrections told WRDW they are fully investigating the incident.