C.O. Thomas Humphrey (portrayed by Michael Torpey) is a new guard hired in season 4 as a part of the MCC’s veteran hiring initiative. Although he’s well-equipped to be a correctional officer in a prison, it seems as though he suffers from similar ailments to those of C.O. George “Pornstache” Mendez in that he has an affinity for threatening and overpowering inmates.
Humphrey first becomes trouble when he makes it known to Maritza Ramos that he suspects some deception on her part when Maria Ruiz‘s cousin, Alonso, is spotted when attempting to pick up the panties that Maritza is smuggling out, and he understands the Spanish she uses to get him to follow along with her act to prevent his apprehension.
Dangling this power over Maritza’s head, he often loiters around her and Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales, especially in the cafeteria, where he overhears their “Would-you-rather-swallow-a. . .” game in which they hypothetically decided whether to eat a bunch of flies or a baby mouse. When Maritza chooses the mouse, which she believes would be like a little “jellybean,” Humphrey overhears her and decides to set up the game–for real–in the on-campus housing, where he holds a gun to her head and forces her to choose.
Martiza’s behavior moving forward alerts the guards, which begins the conversation on his “strange” behavior. While one of the guards suggests that he’s raping Ramos, none is willing to come forward and turn him into C.O. Piscatella, for they see themselves as a “family” and Humphrey as their “weirdo roach-liquefying kid brother.” It is this attitude that allows Humphrey to convince the guards for processing-in employees to allow him into the prison with a handgun.
While Humphrey has only exacted psychological harm thus far, he moves forward to physiological harm when he forces a chair out from under a sleeping inmate (Kasey Sankey), giving her one hell of a bloody nose, during the murder interrogations. He then goads her on to fight Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, who laughed (just like everyone else) at the inmate’s fall. When she refuses to do so, Maureen Kukudio steps up to fight Suzanne, resulting in Kukudio’s trip to medical.
When Joe Caputo catches wind of this and attempts to suspend Humphrey for a month without pay, Piscatella threatens to withdraw his guards (and thus the safety of the prison), which prevents him from being fired.
Although Caputo is not strong enough to punish Humphrey, when he takes Judy King to process out of the prison before the press conference, he trips and falls, sending his gun out from his sock and into the hands of Dayanara Diaz, who appears to be gearing up to kill him (as well as C.O. Artesian McCullough who stands nearby until she’s forced to the ground with Humphrey) for being a piece-of-shit guard.