The release of a new video further solidified a disturbing trend that shows clear inhumane treatment towards inmates by guards in Cleveland’s jail. The string of damning deaths, beatings and damning videos showing “torture” has prompted Ohio’s governor to move to prevent additional tragedy from happening in the future.
In the latest video released by the Cuyahoga County Jail, a Black inmate, Terrance Debose, 47, is seen being wheeled into an isolated room in March by a white guard who was motioning as if he did not want anyone to see him. Debose’s arms and legs were strapped to a chair, and his face was covered by what looked to be a spit guard. Debose, who reportedly suffers from mental illness, had been brought into the jail on cocaine possession charges and charges of tampering with evidence.
The guard, who has since been identified as Cpl. Nicholas Evans, appeared to be talking with Debose while walking around the room. The arm of a second guard, Timothy Dugan, appeared from the door as he seemed to be talking with Debose, as well. Evans then turned off his body camera and began punching Debose in the face as the inmate sat defenseless in the wheelchair. Evans punched Debose five times. Dugan then walked into the room and also punched Debose. Evans and Dugan continued to stand in front of Debose when they both hit him one more time. According to Cleveland.com, the guards left Debose sitting there bleeding for two hours.
Watch the disturbing video below:
Evans and Dugan have been indicted for the beating. Evans was charged with felonious assault, which could give him up to eight years in prison, Dugan was charged with misdemeanor assault and they both were charged with violating Debose’s civil rights. They both pleaded not guilty in April.
Debose’s brother, Emmanuel, told Cleveland.com that he wanted justice for his brother.
“I want justice for him,” he said. “They don’t have the right to do that. You see so much police brutality. I just want justice served at this point.”
Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Thursday that he would be making changes throughout the whole state because of the “crisis” at the Cuyahoga County Jail. One of those changes involves having the jail inspected every 30 days. Cleveland.com reported that as of Monday, an inspection of the Cuyahoga County Jail was still not compliant with 66 minimum standards.
“If they need to inspect it more often, they will,” DeWine said of the inspections. “If they need to live there, they’ll live there.”
We hope many more changes are to come as this case is far from an isolated incident. Prior to the release of this video were two others; one involved an inmate who died at the jail of a drug overdose. Video showed that as he was dying on the floor none of the guards provided medical care. Another video showed a Black woman being pepper sprayed at point-blank range as she was strapped to a chair. Several officers have been indicted in both cases as well as in the deaths of several inmates that occurred over the course of a year.