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— State prison officials fired seven corrections officers for abusing inmates at the East Arkansas Regional Unit in Brickeys, including pepper-spraying noncombative inmates and intentionally walking at least one inmate into prison bars, a spokesman said Thursday.

The firings come in the midst of an FBI investigation announced earlier this month into reports of civil-rights violations against inmates.

Lt. Cheryl Evans, 37, a 13-year veteran of the Department of Correction, was fired Thursday. Six other officers - four correctional officers and two sergeants - were dismissed Tuesday, said Dina Tyler, prison spokesman.

Evans is white. The six other officers are black. Tyler said she could not identify them because,unlike the high-ranking Evans, they have the right to appeal their termination.

For more information see today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Subscribers can read the story here on ArkansasOnline.

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