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Amber Swink Case against the Montgomery County Sheriff’s off
Sat Jan 6, 2018 03:09

Amber Swink Case

The Brannon Law Firm and attorney Douglas Brannon
have filed a complaint in Federal Court against the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office and Capt. Judith L. Sealey
for violently assaulting Amber Swink
with pepper spray when she was confined in a restraint chair while in the jail on November 15, 2015.

The entire assault of Amber Swink was captured on videotape and should have been documented in a detailed use of force report, which is required anytime pepper spray is utilized against an inmate in the jail.

In an effort to cover up the incident and prevent it from becoming public, members of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office deliberately destroyed the videotape and use of force report. The destruction of the video and use of force reports were confirmed on July 5, 2016 by Capt. Charles Crosby who stated: “The use of force report cannot be located and as it is a paper document cannot be reproduced.

The video that was attached to the original cannot be located and cannot be found where it is normally saved for future use pursuant to the records retention schedule. The video was not located and cannot be reproduced.”

Despite the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office’s best efforts to conceal the tortious conduct of Capt. Sealey, the Brannon Law Firm was able to obtain a copy of the video showing the assault.

The attached video clearly shows Amber Swink completely restrained in a restraint chair and unable to move in an isolation cell. At that point Capt. Sealey walks into the isolation cell with a can of pepper spray and proceeds to discharge the entire can of pepper spray directly into the face of Amber Swink at point blank range.

Unable to protect herself or seek cover, Amber Swink is forced to inhale huge amounts of pepper spray, is unable to breathe and eventually falls unconscious. The wrongful conduct of Capt. Sealey can only be described as torture. Even more alarming is the fact that Capt. Sealey was promoted within the department by Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer after this incident took place.

Now that the Brannon Law Firm has the video, Capt. Sealey and the Montgomery County Sheriff will have to answer to a jury for their unlawful conduct.
Watch The Video Here

CASE NO. 11766 S. Wolf Creek Pike Brookville, Oh 45309 *

JUDGE Magistrate

Plaintiff * vs.
Dan Foley
Deborah Lieberman
Judy Dodge
451 W. Third St. * Dayton, Ohio 45422 * and

SHERIFF MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF * 345 W. Second St. Dayton, Ohio 45422 * and


* MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF 345 W. Second St. * Dayton, Ohio 45422 * and

CAPTAIN MONTGOMERY COUNTY SHERIFF * 345 W. Second St. Dayton, Ohio 45422 * and

* ANY AND ALL OTHER JANE AND/OR * JOHN DOES, whose identities are not yet known but shall be ascertained through * discovery * Defendants ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plaintiff Amber Swink, by and through their attorney, hereby allege the following as their Complaint: JURISDICTION 1.

This Honorable Court has jurisdiction over all claims presented herein pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (federal question), 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and § 1988, and has pendant jurisdiction over all state law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367. 2.

This action arises under the United States Constitution, particularly under the provisions of the Fourth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, under Federal law, particularly the Civil Rights Act, Title 42 of the United States Code, §§ 1983 and 1988 and Ohio common law.

VENUE 3. Venue is appropriate under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 4 and 17(b), Chapter X, S.D. Ohio Civ. R. 82.1 as all events giving rise to these causes of action occurred within the geographical jurisdiction of this Court. PARTIES

4. Plaintiff Amber Swink, at all times relevant to this complaint, is a natural person residing at 11766 S. Wolf Creek Pike, Brookville, Ohio 45309 and a resident of Montgomery County, Ohio.

5. Defendant Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, made up of three duly elected commissioners, is the body elected to govern the affairs of Montgomery County, Ohio pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code and is located within the geographical jurisdiction of this Court.

6. Defendant Sheriff Phil Plummer is an Ohio law enforcement officer and duly elected Sheriff of Montgomery County.

7. Sgt. / Capt. Judith L. Sealey is an Ohio law enforcement officer and is an agent and servant of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Sheriff of Montgomery County.

8. Capt. Charles Crosby
is an Ohio law enforcement officer and is an agent and servant of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Sheriff of Montgomery County.

9. Defendant(s) John and/or Jane Doe is (are) persons and entities whose identities shall be determined during discovery whose acts and omissions were willful, negligent, grossly negligent, reckless, and were deliberately indifferent to the health, safety, and welfare of Plaintiff. This complaint shall be amended pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 as their identities are discovered.

10. Each of the individually named defendants is sued individually and in their official capacities, unless otherwise alleged.

11. Each of the individually named defendants were, at all times relevant, acting under color of state law and on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners of Montgomery County, Ohio, Sheriff Phil Plummer, and/or the State of Ohio. FACTS COMMON TO ALL ALLEGATIONS

12. On November 15, 2015 at approximately 1750 hours Sgt. W. Wortman of the Perry Township Police Department,
Ofc. J. Corcoran of the Perry Township Police Department and Ofc. A. Scott Clay Township Police Department responded to a call concerning a domestic dispute at 4629 Sulfur Springs Road in the City of Brookville, County of Montgomery, State of Ohio.

13. Plaintiff Amber Swink was present at that address with her boyfriend, Thomas Pinney along with the home’s owner, Louise Crow, and had consumed alcoholic beverages that evening and was intoxicated.

14. Ofc. Corcoran subsequently asked Plaintiff Amber Swink to step outside and when she refused and started to close the door he grabbed her by the wrist, took her to the ground, put her in handcuffs and placed her in the back of his police cruiser.

15. During this arrest Ofc. Corcoran’s glasses fell to the ground were damaged.

16. Ofc. Scott then opened the door to the police cruiser to inform Plaintiff Amber Swink that she was being arrested and that temporary arrangements would need to be made for the custody of her son.

17. When Ofc. Scott told Plaintiff Swink to put her feet back inside the police cruiser she refused to do so and when the officer went to physically place her feet back in the cruiser she kick at the officer with her left foot, which caused no injury to the officer but made contact with him.

18. After placing Plaintiff Swink back in the rear of the police cruiser, Ofc. Scott retrieved leg restraints from his trunk, pulled Plaintiff Amber Swink back out of the police cruiser with the assistance of Sgt. Wortman, placed the leg restraints on her and then placed her back in the rear of the police cruiser.

19. Ofc. Scott then transported Plaintiff Amber Swink to the Montgomery County Jail in the City of Dayton.

20. Despite being manhandled by much larger officers, Plaintiff Amber Swink was unharmed prior to arriving at the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton.

21. At all times relevant herein, Plaintiff Swink was twenty-four years old, was five foot two inches tall and weighed approximately one hundred and thirty pounds.

22. While enroute to the Montgomery County jail and/or at the jail, Ofc. Scott notified Montgomery County jail staff, including Defendant Sgt. Judith Sealey, that Plaintiff Amber Swink was intoxicated and that she exhibited a belligerent attitude.

23. Upon information and belief, Defendant Sealey was aware of Plaintiff’s intoxicated state and belligerent attitude, but was also aware that, subdued, handcuffed, in leg restraints and in custody, she posed no threat to herself or others around her.

24. At all times relevant herein Defendant Sealey was the highest ranking member of the Montgomery County jail staff and was the supervisor of the jail at the time Plaintiff Amber Swink was brought into their custody.

25. Once they arrived at the Montgomery County Jail, Plaintiff Amber Swink remained handcuffed as Defendants took Plaintiff into their custody and escorted her to a booking area inside the jail.

26. Plaintiff Amber Swink was subsequently relocated in holding cell #123 where it was reported that she was continuing to act belligerent, continued screaming and banging on the glass.

27. Defendant Sealey then warned Plaintiff Amber Swink that if she did not cease her actions of banging on the door and causing a disturbance she would be sprayed with OC spray a/k/a pepper spray.

28. Immediately thereafter, Defendant Sealey ordered Plaintiff Amber Swink’s cell door open and delivered a significant amount of OC spray into her cell, on her person and in her face which debilitated the Plaintiff and caused her to stop any belligerent conduct upon which the cell door was closed.

29. Defendant Sealy stated that the OC spray “had its desired effect” and had caused the Plaintiff to stop causing a disturbance.

30. It is the policy of the Montgomery County Jail to use a hand held video camera to record any use of force used upon an inmate.

31. Defendant Sealy intentionally did not use or allow any other officer(s) to record her use of the OC spraying of Plaintiff Swink with a hand held video camera in violation of the policy.

32. Despite the fact the Plaintiff Amber Swink was no longer causing a disturbance, Defendant Sealey further ordered Corrections Officers M.K. Klumb and L.J. Jenkins to place Plaintiff Amber Swink in a full restraint chair.

33. Per Defendant Sealey’s orders Corrections Officers M.K. Klumb and L.J. Jenkins brought the restraint chair to the area of Plaintiff’s cell.

34. Corrections Officers M.K. Klumb and L.J. Jenkins then ordered Plaintiff Amber Swink to lay on the ground while the cell door was still closed, to which she complied.

35. After Plaintiff Amber Swink was laying on the ground Officers M.K. Klumb and L.J. Jenkins opened the cell door, placed her in handcuffs and escorted her into the restraint chair where she was then strapped into the chair prohibiting her from moving.

36. Officers M.K. Klumb and L.J. Jenkins, per the orders of Defendant Sealey, then wheeled Plaintiff Amber Swink into an isolation room, MHD-131, where she was left fully restrained, handcuffed and isolated in the chair for over an hour and a half.

37. After an hour and a half of being left in the restraint chair and unable to move, Plaintiff Amber Swink started yelling.

38. Shortly thereafter Defendant Sealey went into Plaintiff Amber Swink’s cell with another can of OC spray and intentionally and maliciously sprayed Plaintiff Amber Swink’s face and body with the OC spray until she became unconscious and suffer permanent, serious, and debilitating injuries.

39. After an unknown period of time the Montgomery County jail medic, Connor Matlock, was summonsed to Plaintiff’s cell where he found her unconscious and unresponsive with all seven of the chair restraints properly secured.

40. In an effort to revive Plaintiff Amber Swink, the medic performed sternal rubs and administered other stimuli until she regained consciousness and could respond to verbal commands upon which time he left the cell where she still remained restrained in the chair.

41. Medic Matlock was later requested to return to Amber Swink’s cell where he checked her pulse and decontaminated some of the OC spray from Plaintiff Amber Swink’s face.

42. Sometime thereafter, Plaintiff Amber Swink was removed from the restraint chair and placed back into the general population without further incident.

43. The OC spraying in the first cell, use of the restraint chair and second OC spraying while the Plaintiff was restrained in the restraint chair constituted brutal and excessive force, was cruel and unusual and was not a proportionate response to Plaintiff’s actions while in the Defendants’ custody. Defendants, jointly and severally, exhibited deliberate indifference concerning the amount of force they applied on the Plaintiff.

44. A reasonably competent police officer and/or corrections officer would not consider the use of the amount of force, under these circumstances, reasonable.

45. Defendants were within the course and scope of their employment during all times relevant to Plaintiff’s complaint, acting under the direction and orders of their superior officers, and acting pursuant to established policies, procedures, customs, supervision and past practices of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff of Montgomery County, and the State of Ohio.

46. As a result of Defendants’ actions, Plaintiff has been required to seek various therapies. Her injuries are permanent and debilitating. Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer from loss of enjoyment of life, humiliation, severe emotional distress, and economic injuries, including loss of income and losses due to medical care she has been required to receive as a result of the injuries.

47. At the time Plaintiff Amber Swink was assaulted with the OC spray and placed in the restraint chair, Defendant Sealey held the rank of a Sargent, but had already been informed by Sheriff Phil Plummer that she would be promoted to the rank of Captain.

48. The reason why Defendant Sealey was set to be promoted was political and racially motivated due to the fact that she is a black female.

49. Defendant Sealey’s promotion to the rank of Captain was set into motion months prior to the assault of Plaintiff Amber Swink and stemmed from a complaint made by Mr. Derrick Forward, President of the Dayton Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) which had alleged that several white employees of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s privately made multiple racially derogatory text messages on their personal cell phones.

50. The complaint and allegations levied by the NAACP became public and caused damaging publicity to Sheriff Phil Plummer and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.

51. As a result of the racial complaint and allegations Montgomery County Sheriff’s Captain Thomas Flanders and Detective Michael Sollenberger were terminated from employment and a “back door” deal was made to promote Defendant Sealey as reparations for the text messages in order to conciliate the NAACP.

52. Shortly after the assault of Plaintiff Amber Swink, several sergeants working in the Montgomery County jail who either witnessed the assault and excessive use of force or had heard about the wrongful conduct of Defendant Sealey reported said wrongful conduct to Defendant Capt. Chuck Crosby, who was the direct supervisor over Defendant Sealey and also had the responsibility of overseeing the operations in the Montgomery County jail.

53. Defendant Crosby allegedly began an investigation into the assault of Plaintiff Amber Swink as a result of the complaints received by the corrections officers.

54. As part of his duties, Defendant Crosby is responsib

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