The footage shows inmate Chantelle Glass being strapped to a restraint chair by multiple officers. At one point, Glass lifts her leg and a corrections officer later identified as Robert Marsh can be seen punching her in the face. Jail supervisor Idris-Farid Clark then unloads pepper spray directly into Glass' face.
"They wanted to hurt her," Subodh Chandra, Glass' attorney, recently told in a statement to Cleveland.com, referring to the officers' actions in the video as a "ritual of torture."
Cuyahoga County released the video after Cleveland.com filed a claim against the prison in the Ohio Court of Claims. According to Cleveland.com, the country refused to release the video and disciplinary records of the officers involved in the video for months.
Clark was charged with felonious assault and misdemeanor charges of interfering with civil rights and unlawful restraint, while Marsh was charged with assault and interfering with civil rights and unlawful restraint. Both men have pleaded not guilty but have been placed on unpaid leave for now.
According to documents obtained from Cuyahoga County Corrections Center by Cleveland.com, county policy states that an officer may use pepper spray at a minimum of three feet away from someone to avoid injuring their eyes. However, in the video, Clark, who was holding the pepper spray in his hand during the entire clip, sprays Glass from just a few inches away. Clark told investigators that he was aware of the policy and sprayed Glass at close proximity because her face wasn't turned toward him.
The police documents also state that following the incident, Glass was wheeled to a medical unit for treatment. However, Glass, who suffers from asthma, told Cleveland.com that officers poured water on her and left her locked up in a small jail cell for hours.
During a disciplinary hearing earlier this year, attorneys for labor union United AutoWorkers Local Region 2B, which represents jail supervisors, argued that Clark used appropriate force during the incident and requested the county compare disciplinary actions taken against other officers who have also pepper sprayed inmates strapped to restraint chairs. According to the union, Clark's actions were "no different" that what "any other supervisors" had done in similar situations.
Clark and Marsh are just two out of around 10 employees being investigated by the Ohio Attorney General's Office in incidents related to attacks on inmates, Cleveland.com reported, citing jail documents.
The Cuyahoga County Corrections Center did not immediately respond to Sputnik's request for comment.