Time to put the jail commission in the jail

Phil Plummer, Sheriff, Montgomery County OhioLast week, an inmate hanged himself in his cell.

He quietly passed through this world under the less than watchful eye of Sheriff Phil Plummer.

The jail is grossly short-staffed. Rookie officers are making serious mistakes in handling prisoners. Video to follow soon, as well as a massive data dump on issues within the jail.

And, as of this moment, the jail is in lockdown, following the OD’s of three female inmates, one of whom died this morning.

Sasha N. Garvin mugshot

Sasha N. Garvin mugshot

Sasha Nicol Garvin, 27, with a history of minor driving issues was pronounced dead at 8:15 am.

Do we have time to keep waiting for a “commission” to review procedures, policies, safety, while people die?

Maybe the solution is to lock up the “commission” until they come up with viable solutions?

Going to jail should never be a death sentence.

Details to come.

 

Fixing the jail doesn’t begin with the jail

The news today was that Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Sheriff Phil Plummer, County Commissioner Dan Foley and State Senator Peggy Lehner have a plan for an oversight committee to work on the Montgomery County Jail, where Plummer thinks it’s ok to pepper spray inmates while restrained. A ten person committee will solve all the problems. Not.

The first step to solving the problems at the jail is to work to keep people out of it, or to at least cycle them through as fast as possible when jail is not the answer.

To start off, we should look to Franklin County which has one county wide municipal court system. Judges are elected county wide, there is only one clerks office, and one website. Because they’ve avoided the duplication we have with courts in Oakwood, Kettering, Centerville, Vandalia, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Moraine etc. they can do somethings we don’t- like run the clerks office 7 days a week from 8 am to midnight. This way, people can work and get to the clerks office to pay their fines instead of having warrants issued.

Another option is to have night court. No reason to wait till the next day for a TRO, or bail to be set, with a night court- cases can be disposed of quicker. Same goes for having a weekend magistrate. Jail is for people who pose a risk to the community, not those who have other issues- like no way to get in to pay their fines.

Alcohol and drug problems aren’t best dealt with in a jail. Realistically, these are mental health issues, and even Sheriff Plummer tells us he’s not capable of handling psychiatric cases. It’s time to properly assess and build a county wide drug and alcohol treatment center. Yes, the doors will be locked, but, the people dealing with people coming off highs won’t be cops, they’ll be health care professionals. Ask Virgil McDaniel from Project Cure how to best manage addicts, don’t ask Sheriff Phil.

Last but not least, when it comes to bail and bond issues, we need a better system. If you are in jail and can’t make bail, there has to be a better reason than you’re broke. We keep people with very low bail in jail because they just don’t have the money, yet, we spend more in 3 days than what the bail would be. It’s sort of doing time for being broke and it’s not solving anybodies problems. Bail reform has been a major discussion in New York and California, where they’ve realized that by holding people for a week who live on the edge of poverty, it’s pretty much a bankruptcy in the making. Car gets repossessed, rent is late and they get evicted, lost their job, don’t pay their phone bill. Never mind they haven’t been found guilty yet- they’ve just been locked up. We need to find different ways to make sure people show up in court, and that incarceration before your day in court isn’t more expensive than the eventual fine or jail time.

We also need a much faster way to process prisoners out. How about a one hour guarantee or the bail starts going down? I paid $114 to get a friend out of the jail a month ago, and had to wait almost 4 hours for their release. That cost me time and money, and it costs the taxpayers. If you can’t get someone out of jail in an hour after the bond has been paid, there needs to be an incentive in place to get people out of jail as fast as we can put them in.

Make these changes first, and the committee may not have much to fix.

Phil Plummer’s fine folks

We know that Sheriff Phil Plummer hires racists, he “fired” two of them for sending racist texts (only they took full disability retirements after they were caught).

We know he hires and promotes miscreants who like to torture people with pepper spray, while restrained.

And, as the Washington Post just published the story of the latest pepper spray event, with video provided by yours truly, Phil Plummer has another problem child entering the spotlight.

Mugshot of Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Douglas Carl Gearhart

Mugshot of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Douglas Carl Gearhart

Meet Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Douglas Carl Gearhart, who is currently residing in a much safer jail than the one Phil runs- booking number 20170583  at the Warren County Jail, arrested today on two counts of domestic violence. We’ll have to wait until Friday for his next court date, and currently there is no bail. Hopefully, his wife is OK.

Gearhart was rumored to be on the promotion list for sergeant, which would probably have put him in the Montgomery County Jail for a tour. Maybe, he’s just doing undecover research for Phil on how a competent jail is run?

Given his bad behavior, Plummer will probably fast track his promotion. Sadists are his favored type of officer.

We’re currently working on additional stories of issues in the Montgomery County Jail. Not just the lawsuits, but how and why the jail has become a lawsuit liability machine under Phil Plummer.

Lawsuit filed in 2nd pepper spray case

Attorney Doug Brannon, working for Charles Alexander Wade, the victim of the second pepper spraying while in restraints that has come to light in the last six months, filed suit in District Court asking for a jury trial.

The case centers around the pepper spray video that I released on February 2nd 2017 of the incident that occurred Oct. 19, 2016, just a month after Plummer called the first pepper spraying of Amber Swink in restraints an “isolated incident.”

The pepper spraying of people in restraints is unconstitutional, amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, and is totally unnecessary and unwarranted. However, Sheriff Plummer seems to be oblivious that this kind of behavior is not only wrong, but dangerous.

He seems to think it’s better to blame the County Commission and anyone but his officers in his press conference that was held last Wednesday, February 8, the day after the County Commission asked for the Department of Justice to investigate the jail for civil rights violations.

Another key part of the Wade complaint is that the plaintiff and his attorney had asked for the video and records multiple times and were denied. The video I released was the first and only copy that had been released to the public.

I am including the entire time stamped final complaint: Wade, Charles – TS Complaint with Jury Demand

Here are some key points, most of which can be seen clearly in the video I released:

17. The Plaintiff’s fear of being placed in a restraint chair at the MCJ was based upon the MCJ’s well-earned reputation for having a pattern and practice of using excessive force against its pretrial detainees. This includes but is not limited to Amber Swink in 2015 when jail officers used OC spray on her while she was fully restrained in a restraint chair.
This also includes Louis Aldini, Jr., a military officer whom officers viciously beat and tazed, and placed in a restraint chair, while he was in their custody in 2006. Jail officers also used excessive force in causing the death of Robert Andrew Richardson Sr. in 2012, whom, when ill in his cell and suffering from a medical emergency, officers allegedly pinned to the ground prone on his stomach and applied significant weight to his back to the point where he ceased breathing. Excessive force was also used against Emily Evans, who was body slammed into a concrete floor while handcuffed knocking her unconscious and causing facial  fractures.

22. Once on the floor, Deputy Walters kept Plaintiff Wade pinned down by placing his right knee on the upper middle back area of Plaintiff Wade at which point Plaintiff Wade stated “I’m not resisting…..how do I not resist?”

24. Corrections Officers, including Defendant Lightner, secured Plaintiff’s two legs and abdomen into the restraint chair so that he was sitting in the seat and unable to stand, with both of his arms still handcuffed behind his back while Defendant Eversole recorded the events with a handheld camera.

25. At that point Plaintiff Wade’s upper torso and head were pushed down into his lap by Defendant Lightner and three other corrections  officers where it would have been impossible for the Plaintiff to move or pose any threat to the corrections officers.

26. At that point Defendant Lightner, under the semblance of removing the Plaintiffs handcuffs manipulated the Plaintiff’s hand and wrist causing severe pain, injury and evoking a reaction from the Plaintiff which he knew was unnecessary and would lead to further escalation with the Plaintiff in the restraint chair.

27. Defendant Eversole then passes the video camera to another corrections officer and takes a full can of OC spray places it directly in the face of Plaintiff Wade and hits him directly in the eye and face at a range of approximately one inch with a long burst of OC spray while the Plaintiff is still restrained in the restraint chair, pinned forward with his head in his lap by four corrections officer including Defendant Lightner.

28. Only after Defendant Eversole has already sprayed OC spray in Plaintiffs face does he give Plaintiff any verbal commands to “stop resisting.”

29. The Plaintiff, after being sprayed directly in the face and eyes with OC spray at point blank range, is now coughing, struggling to breathe and when his left hand is removed from the handcuffs he places his left hand over his mouth as part of a cough reflex. It should also be noted  that the corrections officer are also placing their hands/arms over their mouths in a similar cough reflex, even though they were not directly  sprayed in the face with OC spray.

30. As Plaintiff Wade is still strapped in the chair, pinned down by four corrections officer including Defendant Lightner, coughing and  struggling to breathe Defendant Eversole then administers a second generous dose of OC spray directly to Plaintiffs face and eyes for no reason other than to inflict further pain and injury to the Plaintiff.

31. The four corrections officer and Defendant Eversole then take Plaintiffs arms and strap them into the chair, after which Defendant Eversole takes his forearm and places it across Plaintiffs chest/neck further restricting his ability to breathe despite Plaintiff’s cries that he already could not breathe.

36. Both acts of OC spraying the Plaintiff while the Plaintiff was restrained and pinned down by corrections officers in the restraint chair  constituted brutal and excessive force, was cruel and unusual and was not a proportionate response to Plaintiff’s actions while in the Defendants’ custody. Defendants, jointly and severally, exhibited deliberate indifference concerning the amount of force they applied on the Plaintiff.

37. Keeping Plaintiff Wade fully restrained in a restraint chair from 0446 hours until 0724 hours constituted brutal and excessive force, was cruel and unusual and was not a proportionate response to Plaintiff’s actions while in the Defendants’ custody. Defendants, jointly and severally, exhibited deliberate indifference concerning the amount of force they applied on the Plaintiff.

38. A reasonably competent police officer and/or corrections officer would not consider the use of the amount of force, under these circumstances, reasonable.

41. Shortly after the assault of Plaintiff Wade as stated herein, several staff members working in the Montgomery County jail who either witnessed the assault and excessive use of force or had heard about the wrongful conduct of Defendant Eversole and Lightner reported said wrongful conduct to Defendant Landis, who was a supervisor over Defendants Eversole and Lightner, who also had the responsibility of  overseeing the operations in the MCJ.

42. Despite knowledge of the wrongful conduct of Defendants Eversole and Lightner Defendant Landis failed to order any type of an investigation into the events that are the subject of this action.

45. At all times relevant herein Defendants, under the direction and control of Defendant Plummer, failed to timely comply with the public records request for the video footage of the OC spraying of Plaintiff Wade in violation of the law and the policy of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

46. Defendants even relabeled videos in document productions to the Plaintiff’s attorneys purporting to claim that they were of Plaintiff Wade when they were not, in an effort to frustrate and prevent any claims being brought against the Defendants.

47. The wrongful conduct of Defendants not producing the video was intentional and deliberate since Plaintiff’s counsel has sued the Montgomery County Sheriff and its officers/employees in the past and has several cases pending against the Montgomery County Sheriff currently.

48. Upon receiving the public records requests and/or viewing the videotape, Defendants knew or should have known that excessive force was used against Plaintiff Wade, that Defendants Eversole and Lightner had in fact committed the crime of assault against Plaintiff Wade, that  Defendant Eversole and Lightner had violated the Use of Force policy of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office and that there was a high probability that there would be litigation regarding this incident in the form of a criminal prosecution of Defendants Eversole and Lightner and/or a civil action brought by Plaintiff Wade and/or internal disciplinary actions against Defendants.

99. Through the conduct alleged above, Defendants negligently, intentionally, maliciously, recklessly, and willfully breached this duty by  attacking Plaintiff with OC spray and/or destroying the videotape and other documentary evidence so as to inhibit probable litigation and as a direct and proximate result, Plaintiff suffered injuries and damages.

To sum it up. Torture is tolerated in the Montgomery County Jail run by Sheriff Phil Plummer. Incidents have been routinely covered up, and the ones that have been exposed are apparently condoned by the Sheriff. Even though he complains he’s short a captain who is on paid leave for her actions in pepper spraying Amber Swink, the captain had been promoted from sergeant to captain in the time between her pepper spray incident and the revelation almost a year later. In the second pepper spraying, no officers were disciplined, and again, there was a coverup of the incident and public records requests were denied. Sheriff Plummer refuses to admit that these are inappropriate uses of pepper spray- a substance that can and has caused deaths around the globe in more appropriate uses than these.

It takes 23,000 signatures to recall Sheriff Plummer. Or, one judge to rule that he and his deputies are breaking the law and can’t be entrusted with public safety in the jail. The question is, who is going to step up first.

NOTE: there will be a protest at the jail, Friday, February 24th at 6pm outside the jail on W. Second Street.

 

 

Dayton Daily “news” is still an establishment tool

There is a reason the three county commissioners asked for the Department of Justice to investigate the County Jail for civil rights violations, but you won’t see it in the Dayton Daily or “The Leader” Channel 7.

While 22/45 had no problem running my video– complete with the link esrati.com/deadly on screen, the Cox papers are pretending the pepper spraying of a restrained inmate revealed on this blog at 7pm on Thursday night had nothing to do with it. In fact- it didn’t happen, won’t happen, until attorney Doug Brannon will file a lawsuit this week on behalf of Charles Alexander Wade.

Channel 2 purposefully did not mention or inform the public of the latest evidence that prompted the commissioners actions, going back to a lawyer for the case of Emily Evans- which is several years old.

They did list 7 other lawsuits/settlements in progress at the jail. And, they took credit for the story they stole and didn’t credit from my blog:

An I-Team analysis of jail housing data found that the majority of female inmates are white and most reside in larger dorm-style housing while the black female population was mostly housed in smaller, more crowded “rollover” cells.

Source: Civil rights probe into jail requested

In the county commissioners press conference two people specifically asked about the pepper spraying of Wade shown in my video, yet the paper cites their work as the reason for this new development:

The I-Team reported in November that one of those cases led to an ongoing federal probe into the pepper spraying of an inmate while she was in a restraint chair, and the disappearance of video and other records of the incident from the sheriff’s office. Dayton police say an investigation into whether the incident was a criminal assault is also ongoing.

Most recently, a homeless veteran sued the jail alleging he was beaten so badly by corrections officers that he was left permanently disabled and wheelchair bound.

The fact that the County Commission isn’t calling to close the jail, because it is unsafe, or asking for guarantees of safety for citizens in the jail, is a gross abdication of their responsibilities to the public. They fund the operation of this house of torture, danger and death. That it took 5 days to act is an indication of how unfit they, and every other political leader is in Dayton.

If any municipality allows their citizens to be locked up in Plummer’s Palace of Peril after reviewing the list of lawsuits, the video evidence of abuse of power in the torture of Mr. Wade, they should know that they are also at risk of being sued.

It’s time for the police chiefs of Montgomery County to meet and devise a safer way to detain and hold their citizens than allow them to risk life and limb in the county clink.

Options include sending inmates to other counties, calling for a private contractor to take over the jail, putting more people on home monitoring, setting up an improvised jail using part of the old Dayton Workhouse, or taking over the jail as a group.

Plummer is supposed to make a statement today. Anything less than his resignation, after he has  removed every supervisor in the jail is unacceptable.

As to the local news, you can get it here, or late from channels 22/45 or not at all from 2, 7 and the “Dayton Daily/when we can take credit for it/ news.”

I have more groundbreaking stories in the works, but this all comes at a personal cost. If you’d like to make sure I can keep dedicating time and resources to making sure the stories that need to be exposed get published, please consider donating to www.esrati.com/donate. Thank you

In the mean time, if you a subscriber to the Dayton Daily, take the time to pen a note to their “editor” Jana Collier and ask why they continue to not credit this site, or report news that is public knowledge thanks to esrati.com.

How else can we have checks and balances on the local politicians when the “press” is in their pockets?