LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three former Louisville Metro Corrections officers are facing federal charges after a handcuffed inmate was allegedly beaten at the jail last April.
According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, 48-year-old David Schwartz and 55-year-old Donna Gentry were indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday.
Schwartz is charged with writing false reports and violating the civil rights of an inmate by assaulting him while he was handcuffed and not resisting. Gentry is charged with obstruction of justice for filing a false report and directing a subordinate officer to file a false report.
Another former corrections officer, Devan Edwards, is facing a federal charge for his role in the assault. He's accused of punching inmate Terry Whitehead twice in the face while he was handcuffed.
Investigators say Gentry was the supervising sergeant on duty when Schwartz and Edwards allegedly assaulted the 19-year-old inmate on April 15, 2018. That was less than a year after they were hired in September 2017, meaning their employment status was probationary.
Court documents state the inmate "was handcuffed and not resisting" when the officers punched him, and that false reports were filed "in an attempt to cover up the misconduct."
Schwartz and Edwards were terminated immediately after jail director Mark Bolton saw body cam video of the incident he called "disturbing." After firing the officers, Bolton said the reports Schwartz and Edwards filed documenting the use of force did not match what he saw in the video.
"What I saw on that video is disturbing and is not reflective of what we expect from our staff," Bolton said in an interview last year.
Bolton issued a statement after the charges were announced calling this an "unfortunate day."
"Corrections work is difficult and dangerous, but corrections officers need to respect the civil rights of the people they are watching over. Corrections officer cannot resort to excessive force in performing their duties. Incidents like these erode the public’s confidence in our mission to provide care, custody, and control of individuals committed to our custody.
This community is entitled to trust that corrections officers will protect individuals under their supervision and keep them safe. When that trust is violated, no matter how quickly we respond, it becomes more difficult to maintain the community’s confidence."
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