An Ohio sheriff’s deputy faces an assault charge after video footage captured him kicking a jail inmate in the head with his boot.
Sgt. Jesse Franklin, who has worked for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office for 14 years, was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault, which is punishable by up to six months in jail, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The inmate, Nick Ballachino, was taken to jail on June 9 after being arrested on charges of disorderly conduct while intoxicated and obstructing officers. A scuffle took place during processing, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, during which Ballachino bit Franklin’s boot. Video footage showed Franklin then kicked Ballachino in the head.
Ballachino was taken to University Hospital, where he was treated and released back to the Justice Center, reported Fox 19 of Cincinnati. He sustained a cut above his eye that required five stitches.
Franklin was arrested Thursday and booked into the same jail where the incident took place. He has been suspended without pay and stripped of his police powers, according to Sheriff Jim Neil.
Neil said he condemned the behavior and ordered a criminal investigation into what happened.
”I am outraged and shocked by this egregious conduct,” Neil said. “These actions are inconsistent with our training and will not be tolerated under my watch.”
Police brutality has become a pressing national issue ever since video footage circulated around the world of the deaths of George Floyd and other black people that involved law enforcement officials. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite his pleas for air.
Much of the recent scrutiny has focused on the relationship between police officers and black communities. Nationwide protests demand an end to racial injustice and call for police reform.
Both Franklin and Ballachino are white.
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