Three Ohio deputies arrested for an internal investigation that lead into false documents, prisoner abuse allegations caught by video cameras at the Lawrence County Jail.
A federal grand jury in Cincinnati has charged Jeremy S. Hanshaw, 36, of Coal Grove, Ronald S. Hatfield, 25, of Waterloo, and Jason D. Mays, 22, of South Point (pictured below), with conspiring to deprive, and depriving, an arrestee of civil rights while acting under the color of law as deputies of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.
The disturbing details shared by the Department of Justice report a series of events on the weekend of Between August 16 and 17, 2014, when an anonymous victim came forward with allegations that he had been attacked in the jail by the three men.
While the victim was restrained, he reported that he had been a victim of their repeat sadistic behavior of being hit by: multiple elbow strikes, choke-holds, punches, kicks and laughter.
The indictment further alleges that Hanshaw choked the victim and delivered an elbow strike to the victim’s head while the victim was restrained on a medical gurney. Then-deputy Mays allegedly struck the victim in the neck with a closed fist and attempted to block a surveillance camera while his fellow officers had the victim on the ground.
The deputies acted as if they forgot there were cameras rolling at all times, sheriff Lawless recalls.
“I was provided with what I believe is evidence of wrong doing, I acted quickly, firing one employee and suspending two others, this even before the possible victim could be found,” said Lawless. “I took an oath to uphold the law and protect all citizens. I am not sure this man would have ever returned to complain and I could have sat on it and possibly saved a black eye on the agency but the person I am would not allow me to do that.”
Conspiracy to deprive an individual of civil rights and deprivation of civil rights are crimes punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The three arrested on January 15, 2015 by FBI agents and are now awaiting trial.
“Good policing practices are essential,” U.S. Attorney Stewart said. “Law enforcement strategies must be consistent with constitutional rights.”
“The protection of civil rights is one of the FBI’s highest criminal priorities,” stated Acting Special Agent in Charge John A. Barrios. “The FBI is committed to holding accountable those who believe they can abuse the powers they have been granted.”
3 Sheriff’s Deputies Charged with Beating Suspect on Camera