Why Montgomery County needs a chief ethics officer

Yesterday I released a video of the criminal pepper spraying of Charles Alexander Wade, while in restraints, at the Montgomery County jail. Normally, you’d expect your county prosecutor to take up charges against the perpetrator of a crime as clear as this, but there is a difficulty.

Sgt. John Eversole, Mr. Pepper Spray, is married to Erin Claypoole, a Montgomery County Assistant Prosecutor, Trial Team 3 Supervisor.

Of course, Sgt. Eversole, soon to be inmate Eversole, is probably crapping his pants today. Doug Brannon, the attorney in the Amber Swink case, has also secured Mr. Wade as a client, and has been doing public records requests to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office since November for the footage you saw last night. He called and asked how I got it. Eversole had been told the video would never see the light of day.

Brannon’s case just grew. Refusal to fulfill public records requests is a crime. Now that the footage is out, it can’t be covered up.

In other questionably ethical action, Plummer also has recommended one of his employees to a judgeship, in his role as chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party. Plummer nominated Personnel Director Julie A. Droessler, Esq. for appointment to fill Judge Michael L. Tucker’s seat on the County Court. The position is filled by Governor Kasich by appointment as recommended by the local party. Tucker is vacating his term,  due to his election to the 2nd district court of appeals to fill the seat of retiring judge Mike Fain. Of course Tucker ran, unopposed as this is how we roll in Montgomery County. As to Droessler’s qualifications to be a judge? She’s a lawyer, and would owe Plummer a favor or many- since she has  zero trial experience.

When I asked Mrs. Droessler if she was in a personal relationship with the Sheriff, she asked who told me that, I wouldn’t say, and then she hung up.

Of course, since yesterday, there has been a steady stream of other information about the jail. Like this 100lb girl getting the WWF treatment in the jail in 2014. Read the story here:

I’m also trying to locate Joseph Guglielmo, the homeless veteran who was beaten into a coma in the jail.

The list of criminal behavior by jailers, the coverups, the abuse of power, the suicides, all point to a jail that’s more of a threat to inmates than the inmates are a threat to the citizens of the county.

The county commission, three democrats, have the ability to remove the Sheriff from office, but aren’t acting, because the county is already on the hook for millions in pending litigation, and has already paid out a ton of money in settlements. A protest is being scheduled for the next commission meeting on Tuesday, February 14th 2017 to be followed by a protest the following weekend.

Ir we had an elected chief ethics officer in the county, an independent prosecutor of sorts, issues like these conflicts of interest, might not be the major stumbling block.

 

Cruel and unusual punishment in the Montgomery County Jail

Cruel and Unusual Punishment in the Montgomery County JailThere has been a steady stream of bad news about the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department under Sheriff Phil Plummer. I’ve covered some of it, but, there has been so much, so many different things, from his hiring of his sister to do appraisals, to the “firing” of two officers for racist texts– who weren’t really fired, but allowed to retire with disability, to the segregation of female prisoners by race, putting the black women in the old jail and the whites in the new one. All you have to do is search Phil Plummer on this blog.

In September of last year, the public learned that under Plummer, it’s not only OK to pepper spray an inmate in a 7 point restraint chair, but, that it will be covered up, and the person doing the spraying will get promoted, Sgt. Judith Sealey is now Captain Sealey. It came to light when the victim’s law firm released the footage and filed the lawsuit. Read this excellent article from the Washington Post, here’s an excerpt:

But the incident in Dayton appeared to violate widely accepted law enforcement practices.

“You cannot find any training manual that will tell you it is allowable to pepper-spray somebody who is restrained,” said Kamran Loghman, a U.S. Naval Academy professor who helped develop pepper spray for law enforcement use. “It is used to avoid confrontation or injury, so you don’t escalate to higher levels of confrontation. Pepper spray, therefore, should not be used if the subject is expressing verbal disagreement or anger.”

Source: She started the night drinking at home — and ended it being pepper-sprayed in a restraint chair – The Washington Post

Plummer, who ran unopposed last November, for a four-year term, is also the chair of the county Republican Party. The fact that the Sheriff has final say on election day under Ohio law, for issues that the Board of Elections deadlocks on, should make him ineligible to hold one or the other issue.

The issue of the pepper spraying Ms. Amber Swink, didn’t make it into the public eye until after the deadline to run against him had passed. Not that there hadn’t been plenty of other reasons to oust him. In the spring, in the strangest string of meetings in black churches, Plummer was standing there with the local Dem party leaders and union leaders, all singing the same tune against regionalization- even though it might have included consolidating some of the 20 odd police jurisdictions in the county under one department- presumably his. If his cooperation had been worked as a deal to guarantee he run unopposed, it worked. The two parties have a not-so-secret deal to not oppose sitting judges after they’ve won a seat that someone either aged out of or died holding.

Plummer whitewashed the first spraying of a restrained inmate as “an isolated incident.” His main concern was that the blue line of his department had been violated, and that the footage had been released without going through channels.

However, if you just randomly did a public records request for any footage of jailers using pepper spray on inmates, you’d get crickets. Internal sources gave me the incident report number, date, and name of the victim of the latest atrocity to come out of Phil Plummers house of horrors.

Charles Alexander Wade is no choir boy. He’s a 37 year old black man who has had his share of run ins with the law. No stranger to the Montgomery County jail, he’s asking if he’s going to be “chaired” as the deputies are removing him from the back of the State Highway Patrol cruiser, where he is lying face down across the backseat, with his hands cuffed behind his back.

The deputies even brought a hand held video camera out to record the entire booking process, in addition to the jails security video system. You will see them passing the camera around while they proceed to mis-manage their internment of Wade at 4:40 am on October 17, 2016. This was a month after the footage of Swink being pepper sprayed in restraints had been made public. If anything, you’d think everyone would be extra careful before using pepper spray on a restrained inmate, but that would only apply to competent, intelligent employees, which seem to be in the minority in Plummer’s keystone kops klink.

The footage speaks for itself. We’ve spent almost 4 days extracting the proprietary video format, matching time codes, and trying to clearly show what happened to Mr. Wade. We’ve also made available the entire video with continuous time code as a separate file. The audio came from the hand held camera, only the search room has sound on the provided video.

Why Wade bangs his head against the wall is something I wanted to ask him. My attempts at tracking him down from the addresses that I was able to access were unsuccessful. I even went and staked out the Vandalia Municipal Court on a date he was supposed to show up. I am not a private detective or a paid journalist, but, I wanted to hear his side of the story before I published this. Charles, if you are seeing this and would like to get your side out, my contact info is on this site.

I’ve been exposed to CS gas in the military. However, I don’t think it comes close to what point blank pepper spray to the face would do in terms of pain. To spray Wade once while restrained and surrounded by no less than 7 deputies is criminal/sadistic enough. The second spraying when Wade moves his hand to his face was just an excuse to be an even bigger @$$hole. That honor, belongs to Sgt. John W. Eversole/872.

There is no doubt Wade knew his rights and knew what was possible in the jail.

The only question now is who is going to  stop this kind of sadistic criminal abuse of prisoners under Sheriff Phil Plummer?

The FBI? The Justice Department? Our County Prosecutor?

For the first time, I’m asking for donations to this site to support this work, and to make sure I have money for a legal defense in case the Sheriff comes after me. I’ve been publishing this blog since 2005, there are over 2,500 posts. I’ve self-funded it all. I’ve gone after dirty congressman, pay to play politics, the local political parties, the school board, the neighborhood drug house, but this is the fist time I’ve gone after a guy who signs the license for my CCW. You can donate here https://esrati.com/donate

Here is the raw footage of Wade moving from the sallyport into the chair. If your news organization chooses to use this video, I ask that it be credited to this site- with a link to this post: www.esrati.com/deadly And here are the incident reports as a readable PDF: Charles-A-Wade-Report-esrati.com

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

Racists, rapists and apologists

The head of the local Republican Party/Sheriff fired two of his employees on Friday, for unbecoming conduct. Three others got disciplined. It seems that all had been either sending or receiving racist jokes via text messages.

An Oakwood 19-year-old on an athletic scholarship to Stanford, was playing doctor on an unconscious woman in the bushes outside a fraternity party. He was inebriated, despite not being of drinking age.

Sheriff Phil Plummer made the hard call and took a stand saying there is no room for racist jokes, comments, or behavior under his command.

Stanford sent the swimmer away. They made a clear statement that non-consensual sexual behavior was unacceptable.

Then I see debate on Facebook. I see people using the First Amendment as justification for statements contrary to the founding beliefs that “all men are created equal.” I see people saying that because the swimmer used his fingers instead of his penis, somehow that was OK, besides he was always a “nice boy.”

When was the last time you heard a public figure step right up and admit they screwed up?

Brian Williams of NBC somehow thought he could tell a yarn about him being in a helicopter that got shot down. His first response?

“I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”

Am I guilty of conflation of the racists with the rapists? Certainly saying something politically incorrect is one thing, sticking objects in someone unconscious is another. Except, when you are an officer of the law, you have to be held to a higher standard of conduct- that’s why we trust you with a gun and a badge.

There is a go fund me set up to pay for the Captain’s legal expenses with a very long explanation of why he shouldn’t have been fired- it was put up by his wife. It blames the ex-wife of the deputy, the NAACP, the Sheriff- and the news media for slandering the Captain. The fact that when he got the first text his immediate response wasn’t “this isn’t acceptable” isn’t mentioned, nor is the fact that he erased his iphone and ipod before turning them in, against policy. When you are a leader- a higher level of accountability is expected.

There was a piece online trying to explain away the swimmer’s odd behavior. How about he’s already guilty of being drunk under age? The complaint clearly has eyewitnesses describing something that no one would wish for their daughter.

And, yes, we have courts of law to decide upon guilt or innocence, justifiable firing or not. But the court of public opinion, the debate we have with others- the thoughts we hold back, do they matter?

It’s a question of what kind of society you want to live in. If you don’t want to hear your news from a liar, you can always change the channel, but, when it comes to the guy who shows up with a gun and a badge, what kind of moral character do you want them to have? Or, if your daughter goes to visit a college campus, do you want her molested by a drunken athlete- and then be blamed for her actions?

For a society to function, the actions of a few miscreants is one thing, the willingness to apologize for them is a much greater risk to our community. I know many of you will argue that this is a stretch, but the liberators of the concentration camps had to march the townsfolk through the camps- because they didn’t believe it happened right under their noses.

Many are quick to blame all Muslims for the acts of a few extremists as well, but, that is no different than judging all Americans by the actions of Charlie Manson or Timothy McVeigh.

Morals, ethics, the standards of society are set by what we allow as OK. You don’t know how many times while I’ve been hanging basketball nets I’ve had to say that I don’t think using the N word is acceptable- and so far, I’ve not gotten my ass beat.

There are always at least two sides to every story- but, in the end, there is only one rule that is universal- the golden one. There is no excuse for racist jokes by cops, there is no excuse for doing anything to someone unconscious other than to protect them and get help- and there is no excuse for apologizing for their actions, or trying to say it’s OK- it was among consenting adults, or that they are “good people” because, they aren’t if what happened is true.