WATCH: Video Shows Ohio Jail Guard Using Excessive Force on Female Inmate

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Body camera video that a judge ordered Cuyahoga County to release to shows a jail supervisor take a naked and mentally ill female inmate to the ground and spray her face with pepper foam.

Video of the May 10, 2016 incident also shows six male jail officers wheel the naked woman, who was jailed for a nonviolent offense, through the jail’s hallways and wait to rinse out her eyes until she answered questions about her medical history.

Cuyahoga County released the video hours after a judge ruled in’s favor in a public records lawsuit.

Corporal Brendan Johnson was fired as a result of an internal investigation into the incident and another incident that happened two days earlier. The prior incident also involved his using pepper foam on another female inmate.

The internal investigation found Johnson used excessive force in both incidents, but an arbitrator overturned his firing. Cuyahoga County officials have appealed the judge’s decision to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

The body camera video shows a female jail guard standing outside the woman’s cell in the mental health unit. A Lakewood Municipal Court judge ordered the woman to be held in jail while awaiting a mental health evaluation, officials said.

The female jail guard ordered the woman to step into the cell and remove her clothing, but the woman “passively resisted,” according to court records filed as part of the case. The female jail guard then called for backup.

Johnson, a supervisor, responded to the call for backup and ordered the woman into her cell. He put his hand on her back and pushed her into the cell, then told her to take off her clothes, the video shows.

County officials have said previously that male supervisors are allowed to order female inmates to disrobe if there are no female supervisors available.

The woman asked Johnson if he wanted to see her naked. She also called him a pedophile and danced as she took her clothes off, the video shows.

When the woman bent over to remove her pants, Johnson kicked her legs out from underneath her. She fell to the ground, and Johnson sprayed her with the pepper foam as she lay on the floor, the video shows.

The woman continued singing, saying “abuse of power.”

Johnson and five other jail guards then put the woman in a wheeled restraint chair. They removed the rest of her clothes and covered her haphazardly with a blanket before they wheeled her to an elevator to take her to rinse the toxins out of her eyes.

The woman started crying and said her eyes hurt. When they got her to a rinsing station, they took the blanket off of her and wheeled her to a sink.

One of the guards turned on the hose. The guard asked the woman several medical questions while she begged them to rinse out her eyes.

The guard asked the woman if she was under the influence of several drugs, specifically by name, or if she had taken the drugs in the last eight hours.

She repeatedly said no as the guard stood with the water running.

He then asked for her medical history. She screamed as she told him she was adopted.

“God I just want this burning out of my eyes,” she pleaded. “You have water right there. But you’re evil. Evil men.”

Johnson eventually said into his radio that she refused to answer all questions. He then ordered the guard to rinse out her eyes.

The questioning lasted for more than a minute, as the water kept running.

Johnson, and the union that represents jail guards and supervisors, argued that the woman bumped into him while she was undressing and he used necessary force to bring her into compliance.

The arbitrator, Robert Stein, found that explanation “lacking credibility.”

“Fortunately his actions did not result in injury to this inmate, but from the video the avoidance of injury appeared to be simply a matter of luck,” Stein wrote.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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