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Jailer faces discipline for "snitch" comment

Exchange was part of Marshal's review of county jail
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-07 16:56:31-05

CLEVELAND — A Cuyahoga County jailer faces discipline from the department after investigators say he called an inmate who met with inspectors from the US Marshal's review team a "snitch."

The corrections officer, who News 5 has chosen not to name because the allegations have not been proven, is a five year veteran of the jail. He's assigned to the jail's Special Response Team, known to inmates as "The Men in Black," because of their para-military uniforms. The team drew scrutiny by the jail review team that found "SRT members verbally abusing and demonstrating aggressive behavior toward detainees/inmates."

According to records obtained by 5 On Your Side Investigators, the alleged confrontation happened November 1 when the Marshal's team was at the jail. The officer told supervisors the inmate disrespected him and that he "took up an aggressive stance" toward the jailer. The officer says he put the inmate against a wall, and then pushed him away when other officers arrived.

In the report, a supervisor asked the officer, "the inmate is stating that ever since he spoke to the outside agency that was here last week, you have been calling him a snitch. Is that true?" The officer denied the allegation.

But a statement from a nurse who says she witnessed the whole thing tells a different story.

"Man shut up. You are a snitch anyway," she recalled the officer saying.

He faces department charges of verbal abuse of an inmate, unnecessary physical contact with a jail inmate, and failing to submit and thorough and complete incident report.

Records show this is the first time he's faced discipline in the last three years.

According to a pre-discipline report, the officer admitted "I was heated, I should have broken off" in his interactions with the inmate. A hearing where the officer will have the opportunity to tell his side of the story is scheduled for next week. A county spokeswoman says he is still working as a corrections officer.

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