The Pima County Sheriff’s Department has completed a criminal, as well as an administrative investigation, into allegations of an assault of an inmate by an unnamed corrections officer in the Pima County Adult Detention Center that resulted in assault charges.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, on May 26, 2017, a fight occurred in the housing unit where juvenile inmates are placed following arrests for violent crimes. Corrections officers separated the juveniles and escorted one of them to the medical facility for evaluation. The juvenile was handcuffed and was awaiting medical attention when he began making vulgar comments to staff members. A corrections officer struck the juvenile two times without legal justification.
Other corrections officers were present and witnessed the incident. One of those officers reported the incident to a supervisor, which prompted both criminal and administrative investigations. Other corrections officers present came forward and fully cooperated with the investigation. One corrections officer refused to cooperate with the investigation and has been terminated from employment. The corrections officer who committed the assault was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The case was presented to the Pima County Attorney’s Office. The Pima County Attorney’s Office determined the officer’s actions warranted prosecution for two counts of aggravated assault. The officer has been served with a criminal complaint and a notice of termination from the Sheriff’s Department.
The juvenile inmate who was assaulted did not report the incident.
“We are proud that Corrections Officers witnessing this criminal misconduct came forward to report it. If not, this assault could have gone unreported and unaddressed. The Sheriff’s Department immediately took aggressive action in launching both criminal and administrative investigations. We also took decisive and appropriate employment action to remove the employees who failed to live up to the public trust. The conduct of the two Officers in no way reflects upon the several hundred professional men and women who serve our department as Corrections Officers,” read the statement issued from the Sheriff’s Department.
The Sheriff’s Department is refusing to provide the name of the officer at this time.