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Cuyahoga County jail torture victim to receive $300,000 settlement

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Surveillance footage and bodycam footage showing officers' torture of Chantelle Glass—and their indifference to and amusement by her suffering afterward.

CLEVELAND, OH — Chantelle Glass, a victim of torture in the Cuyahoga County jail, subject to a vote of County Council, will receive a $300,000 settlement for her civil-rights lawsuit against Cuyahoga County; corrections officers Idris-Farid Clark, Robert Marsh for the officers' brutal, torturous July 16, 2018 attack on her, and against other corrections officers and Nurse Diane Lessman for their alleged indifference to and failure to stop the attack.

The suit alleged claims for excessive force, First Amendment retaliation, assault, battery, failure to train and supervise employees, and related state-law claims including civil liabilty for criminal acts.

On July 16, 2018, Ms. Glass, a mother of three, was booked into the county jail on an old, out-of-state misdemeanor traffic warrant. Two days later, she was released, when New Jersey officials confirmed they didn't need her to be extradited on the old traffic warrant.

As surveillance videos show and the complaint alleged, Ms. Glass was unjustifiably brutalized in the Cuyahoga County jail, after she repeatedly asked to make a phone call.

Clark and Marsh pleaded guilty to crimes over the incident.

Corrections officers, the suit alleged, threatened to tie her up and mace her if she didn't stop asking to make a call. When she persisted, the suit alleged—and the video shows—officers Marsh and Clark removed Ms. Glass from her cell and strapped her into a restraint chair.

As the suit alleges—and the video shows—Ms. Glass cooperated with the officers and they walked her to the restraint chair, strapped her waist, removed her handcuffs, and strapped her wrists and shoulders to the chair, rendering her immobile. The complaint alleges that as Marsh tightened the straps, Sgt. Clark removed the pepper spray from his vest and shook it.

As the video shows, Robert Marsh punched her in the head, and Sgt. Clark emptied the entire can of pepper foan her directly in the face from six inches away, holding her hair to prevent her from averting her eyes.

Other corrections officers in the room did nothing to protect Ms. Glass.

The complaint further alleged that, after deploying the pepper spray, corrections officers delayed beginning decontamination procedures, failed to respond to Ms. Glass’s pleas about having asthma and being unable to breathe, and failed to properly decontaminate Ms. Glass to remove the pepper-spray residue. As the suit alleges—and the video shows—Ms. Glass wept and begged in evident agony while corrections officers dilly-dallied to begin decontamination procedures:

The suit further alleged that corrections officers left Ms. Glass alone in an isolation cell for several hours and refused to allow her to shower or change her clothing, leaving her in burning pain throughout the two days she remained in the jail:

Ms. Glass’s lead counsel Subodh Chandra said, “Ms. Glass will be relieved to get this whole sorry ordeal behind her. She hopes for the sake of others that Cuyahoga County stops its pattern of human-rights abuse.”

Subodh Chandra, and Donald Screen of The Chandra Law Firm LLC represent Ms. Glass. More details on and still images from video from the suit can be found here.

A compilation of other torture incidents at the Cuyahoga County jail can be found here.

Related Practice Areas
Police Misconduct & Brutality

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