Newly released footage from a Cleveland prison shows the horrifying moment two corrections officers punched a woman and then pepper-sprayed her in the face.
Both officers have since been indicted in the 2018 incident against Chantelle Glass and the prison is now being investigated by the FBI.
Glass, 29, was taken into custody at Cuyahoga County Jail after her mother called the police while she was arguing with her sister on July 16, 2018.
The mother-of-three was then held in the jail because of an outstanding warrant for failing to show up to court for a 2016 traffic ticket.
Glass said she repeatedly asked to make a phone call so that she could let her family know she was in custody, but the officers refused and threatened to mace her.
As she continued to demand her phone call, officers brought a chair with restraints into a room.
Corporal Idris-Farid Clark is then seen on the surveillance footage shaking a can of pepper spray in preparation for Glass’ arrival.
Glass, who was wearing a thin sundress and flip flops, was then led into the room by corrections officer Robert Marsh, who strapped her into the restraint chair.
‘She had no idea she was about to be tortured,’ Subodh Chandra, Glass’s attorney, told WJW. ‘She comes into the room pretty cooperatively.’
Glass then tries to lift her leg and Marsh immediately punches her in the face.
Clark then grabs Glass’ hair and unloads half a bottle of pepper spray into her face from just a foot away.
‘What you’re seeing is a ritual of torture,’ said Chandra. ‘You see all the other corrections officers standing around. They didn’t try to take care of her.’
‘She wasn’t permitted to shower for an extended period of time and so she continued to suffer tremendous physical pain. The indifference to human suffering afterwards, it’s simply boggling to the mind.’
Glass said that, immediately after being pepper sprayed, she told the officers she had asthma and couldn’t breathe.
But the officers did not give her medical treatment, instead dumping a bucket of water over her head and locking her in a small cell for two hours.
Glass said her repeated requests to use the bathroom were also denied and she urinated on herself.
‘That day, I thought I was going to die,’ she told Cleveland.com. ‘Everything was burning. I had bad aches and my eyes hurt.’
‘I sat in that cell and I prayed to god that I wouldn’t die because I couldn’t breathe. I prayed that I wouldn’t die there.’
The next day an investigator at the jail told Glass he was going to file a report after watching footage of the incident.
Two days later, Glass was released on a personal bond. She was never charged.
Clark and Marsh were indicted in April. Clark has been charged with second-degree felony assault and misdemeanor counts of assault, interfering with civil rights, and unlawful restraint.
Marsh has been charged with assault, interfering with civil rights and unlawful restraint, all misdemeanors. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Glass said she was shocked that the men were allowed to continue working at the prison after the incident.
Marsh and Clark were placed on restricted duty in August and continued working at Cuyahoga County Jail until April, after they were indicted. They remain on unpaid administrative leave.
Chandra has since filed a suit in the Ohio Supreme Court, fighting to obtain records of Glass’ time at the jail and how Marsh and Clark were disciplined following the incident.
‘Despite repeated requests and entreaties, including to new Cuyahoga County Law Director Greg Huth, the county has not yet provided Ms Glass with a single record related to her detention or attack – despite releasing some of them to the press,’ he said in a statement.
Chandra said he believes the prison is trying to hide evidence of its crimes.
If true, that will be much harder to do as Ohio Gov Mike DeWine ordered unprecedented changes to how the state will oversee local jails.
DeWine said the problems at Cuyahoga County Jail were a ‘crisis’ after eight inmates died in 2018. One inmate passed away just last month. By comparison, only two inmates had died in the county’s custody in the last decade.
Both the FBI and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office are currently investigating the prison and 10 jail employees have been indicted, including the jail’s former director.
Footage released just last week revealed another horrific incident that occurred at the jail.
The video showed a mentally ill inmate being punched in the head and face eight times by Cpl Nicholas Evans and corrections officer Timothy Dugan.
Like Glass, Terrance Debose, 47, was strapped to a chair during the attack.
Evans could be seen standing next to the chair and appeared to switch off his body camera before pummeling Dugan’s face six times.
But the assault wasn’t over. Dugan then appeared and punched Debose twice in the face. The two guards then left Dubose strapped to his chair for two hours while his face bled.
Debose suffered a concussion as a result of the attack, which occurred in March.
Evans has been charged with felonious assault, while Dugan was charged with misdemeanor assault. Both have pleaded not guilty.
As for Glass, she said she continues to suffer from flashbacks and anxiety due to her experience in the jail.
‘I just want to see justice done,’ she said. ‘I’m going to be at every hearing to make sure something gets done about this.’
‘I don’t want this to happen to someone else.’