Originally published on January 18, 2015, at NationofChange.org
A federal grand jury in Cincinnati has charged three sheriff’s deputies with conspiring to deprive, and depriving, an arrestee of civil rights while acting under the color of law. Caught on surveillance video at the Lawrence County Jail, the corrections officers assaulted a handcuffed suspect and attempted to cover up the beating by allegedly falsifying incident reports. The sheriff immediately fired one of his deputies and placed the other two on paid administrative leave before obtaining warrants for their arrest.
According to the federal indictment, the victim identified as “L.K.” had been arrested on a disorderly conduct charge and taken to Lawrence County Jail. Between August 16 and 17, 2014, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Deputies Jeremy Hanshaw, Ronald Hatfield, and Jason Mays allegedly assaulted L.K. while he was restrained and not resisting or posing a threat to any officers. Deputies Hanshaw and Hatfield reportedly punched, kicked, and slammed L.K. to the ground restraining him in a chokehold while his hands were cuffed behind his back.
After restraining L.K. on a medical gurney, Hanshaw allegedly began choking him while striking the victim’s head with his elbow. Before attempting to block the beating from a surveillance camera, Mays punched L.K. in the neck as Hanshaw and Hatfield slammed the victim to the ground. In order to justify the brutal assault, the deputies reportedly falsified logs and incident reports to cover up their abusive actions.