ORIENT, Ohio — Ohio’s correctional agency has terminated seven employees after officials say prison guards used excessive and unjustified force against an inmate before he died in custody in February.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction sent a notice of removal to five corrections officers, a supervisor and a licensed nurse following an investigation into the in-custody death of 55-year-old Michael McDaniel.
The Franklin County Coroner’s office had declared McDaniel’s death a homicide and ruled the cause as a “stress-induced sudden cardiac death.”
The ODRC said they conducted an internal investigation that identified ten people with the department who were involved in the incident leading to McDaniel's death.
A video released by the ODRC shows an altercation start when McDaniel was in his cell. Investigators said he was yelling, but the video has no audio.
Two officers approach McDaniel's for a "targeted search" before opening it up and pulling him out of it.
The footage shows 16 instances where McDaniel ends up on the ground as he is taken out of his cell, outdoors in the cold and into the medical unit.
In the documents released by the agency on Friday, it says Lt. Bruce Brown "took no steps" to stop McDaniel from falling to the ground and failed to call for assistance from the medical staff to transport him.
After McDaniel was taken to the med bay, records say Jamie Dukes, a licensed nurse, signed a medical document that McDaniels refused care. “However, Ms. Dukes was not in the room to actually hear Inmate McDaniel refuse treatment,” the records state. The agency said McDaniel never refused treatment and Dukes was also terminated Friday.
During the July news conference, the director said the agency is accepting responsibility for his death.
Officials say three other staff involved in the incident previously resigned.
A county prosecutor will make a decision on whether to file any criminal charges.
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