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Another Cuyahoga County jailer suspended for allegedly punching, kicking inmate

Investigators say incident happened in August
Posted at 11:56 AM, Nov 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-07 18:29:35-05

CLEVELAND, OH — Another Cuyahoga County jailer has been suspended after investigators say he sprayed pepper foam in an inmate's face, then punched and kicked the man.

According to discipline documents obtained by 5 On Your Side Investigators, the incident happened inside the troubled jail August 7, 2019.

Jail administrators said the officer was on his way to lunch, when he responded to an alarm in the jail. Investigators said the officer approached the inmate, and "without much interaction you deployed pepper foam to his facial area." The report said the officer followed the inmate, and sprayed pepper foam to the man's face again.

At that point, investigators said the inmate began "swinging." They say the officer responded by punching the man in the head four times. Administrators said the jailer wrote in his report that he "delivered an open hand strike to the inmate."

The jailer is also accused of punching and kicking the inmate after he was subdued, and secured on the floor by other officers. According to the notice of suspension, the jailer claimed the inmate bit him, "however there were no incident reports submitted for injury nor did you seek medical treatment," wrote the county's director of human resources.

News 5 isn't naming the jailer since he has not been criminally charged.

The officer was suspended for five days for knowingly making a false or misleading statement during the investigation and for unnecessary physical contact with an inmate.

An attorney for the union representing said the union believes the officer acted appropriately and that he was defending himself and other corrections officers. He said the inmate was biting a jail corporal and also bit the officer on the hand.

5 On Your Side Investigators requested video recordings of the incident after learning of the incident in August. Cuyahoga County has not yet responded to that request.

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