For the second time in six months, an Ohio sheriff’s department has been accused of pepper-spraying inmates as they’re restrained in harnesses.
In the latest disturbing video reportedly taken at Dayton’s Montgomery County Jail in October, a 37-year-old man named Charles Wade is seen secured in a chair when a correctional officer walks up and sprays him in the face.
As he gags, coughs and cries out for help, an officer hollers at him to “stop resisting.”
“I can’t breathe, help me please,” he repeatedly begs as the officers pin his back and head against the chair.
Attorneys for Wade filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department on Tuesday, accusing its sheriff and staff of using excessive force, committing battery, gross misconduct, conspiring to destroy the video evidence, and failing to supervise and discipline the officers involved, among other allegations.
The video, which The Washington Post released, and reported was taken from several cameras, shows Wade at all times restrained in some way and generally compliant. At one point he’s seen banging his head against a wall, prompting officers to be move him into the chair.
The Post reported that it shows him after he was taken into custody under suspicion of drunk driving.
“If you cause any pain, my lawyer will hear about it,” Wade is at one point heard telling the officers.
After being placed in the chair, he looks up at one man filming him and asks: “Do you white people feel good doing this to us n*****s? Yeah, you do, don’t you?”
The video is similar to one filmed in 2015 involving a woman named Amber Swink, then 25 years old.
Swink was seated in a room when video captured a Montgomery County corrections officer walk up and spray her in her face with a chemical before leaving her to gasp restrained in her chair. Swink filed a similar complaint against the jail and the county’s sheriff in August.
Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer later said that Sgt. Judith Sealey, who was filmed spraying Swink, violated policy when she sprayed Swink. Despite that, Sealey was kept on the force and later promoted to captain, My Dayton Daily News reported.
Plummer, responding to the latest allegations of mistreatment by his officers, told local station WHIO that Wade was believed to have been “fighting with the officers.”
“And if you would just comply, we wouldn’t have that situation, OK?” he told the station. “My officers have to go home to their families and their loved ones. We don’t pay them enough to fight people like that in that jail.”
A request for comment Thursday from the sheriff’s department was not immediately returned. A secretary for Plummer, reached by the Post, said the sheriff was unable to comment due to the pending lawsuit.