Brookville woman sues over jail excessive force claims

Montgomery County Sheriff, Captains included in complaint

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Brookville woman is suing multiple Montgomery County Sheriff’s employees for excessive use of force and other charges.

Those people include Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, two Captains with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and anyone else who may be involved in the incident.

Microsoft Word - Complaint 8-3-16 v2
Click here to read the full complaint

The complaint was filed with the U.S. District Court of Ohio Tuesday.

It all began in Nov. 2015 in the 4600 block of Sulphur Springs Road in Brookville when police responded to a house for a domestic disturbance. Amber Swick, was taken into custody from the home, as she was intoxicated and arguing with her boyfriend.

While being apprehended by police, the arresting’s officers glasses broke. Swick’s attorneys say the glasses tell off the officer’s face, whereas documents from the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas say she intentionally broke the glasses.

She is also accused of kicking an officer during the scuffle.

After being restrained in the police cruiser, Swick was transported to the Montgomery County Jail for booking, according to the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court of Ohio.

There, she was placed into a jail holding cell. Swick continued yelling and being belligerent in her cell, according to the complaint; Then-Seargent Judith Sealey warned Swick that if she did not stop, she would be pepper sprayed.

Sgt. Sealey then ordered the jail cell opened, when she sprayed “a significant amount of pepper spray” into her cell, on Swick herself – including in her face, according to the complaint.

When this type of action occurs, a hand-held camera is required to be used when jail officials administer use of force on inmates. No hand-held camera was used, the complaint says — something the complaint says was intentional.

Swick, incapacitated, was then wheeled into a restraint room in a seven-point harness where she was left for an hour and a half, according to the complaint. The Ohio Department of Corrections requires that anyone restrained in a restraint chair should be monitored every ten minutes. The video from that room was provided by the Brannon Law Firm in Dayton.

After that time, Swick began yelling.

Sgt. Sealey “went into (Swick’s) with another can of OC (pepper) spray and intentionally and maliciously sprayed (Swick’s) face and body with the OC spray until she became unconscious and suffer permanent, serious, and debilitating injuries,” according to the complaint.

After an unknown amount of time, the jail’s medic was called to the restraint room to check on Swick. She was unconscious and unresponsive, the complaint says.

To revive her, medics performed sternum rubs and other forms of stimulants to wake her back up. When she was awake, the medic left the cell and Swick remained restrained, according to the complaint.

The medic later returned to check her pulse and wipe pepper spray from her face.

She was later removed from the restraint chair and placed back into the jail’s general population without further incident, according to the complaint.

Before this incident, Sgt. Sealy had received a verbal notification from Sheriff Plummer that she would be promoted to Captain. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office tells 2 NEWS that it will not comment on the incident until Thursday.

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