Video (below) has surfaced of a police officer using pepper spray on Charles Wade, an African-American man, who was restrained in a chair in the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton, Ohio, in October 2016.
Wade filed a lawsuit on Feb. 14 against the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly using excessive force "that shocked the conscience and in fact amounted to torture" and "violated his rights to be secure from cruel and unusual punishment," reports The Washington Post.
An Ohio State trooper arrested Wade for alleged drunken driving, and Wade was taken to the jail where he reportedly got into a physical scuffle with a police officer. Wade also allegedly slammed his own head against a wall. He says he was subsequently placed in a restraint chair.
An unidentified community activist gave videos -- jail surveillance cameras and video recorder -- of the incident to The Washington Post, which published it.
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"I’m not resisting," Wade told the officers as they handcuffed him. "I’m not doing anything to fight you guys. If you cause any pain, my lawyer will know about it."
Wade’s legs and middle section were secured in the restraint chair, but while the police unlocked his handcuffs, Wade started to shout and struggle because, according to his lawsuit, the handcuffs were manipulated, which caused "severe pain and injury."
Wade's lawsuit says Sgt. John W. Eversole "takes a full can of OC spray places it directly in the face of Plaintiff Wade and hits him directly in the eye and face at a range of approximately one inch."
After Wade is sprayed, he is heard coughing from the chemicals, and repeatedly stating "I can't breathe!"
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Several officers, also affected by the spray, are heard coughing.
The lawsuit adds: "Only after Defendant Eversole has already sprayed OC spray in Plaintiffs face does he give Plaintiff any verbal commands to 'stop resisting.'"
The lawsuit asserts that Wade was still secured in the restraint chair and held down by several officers when "Defendant Eversole then administers a second generous dose of OC spray directly to Plaintiffs face and eyes for no reason other than to inflict further pain and injury to the Plaintiff."
The lawsuit also states: "Defendant Eversole takes his forearm and places it across Plaintiffs chest/neck further restricting his ability to breathe despite Plaintiff’s cries that he already could not breathe."
Wade asserts in his lawsuit the sheriff's department tried to cover up the incident and destroy evidence.
The Washington Post tried to contact Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer for a comment, but his secretary said Plummer was "unable to comment on a pending lawsuit."
Wade was reportedly scared of the officers because a woman named Amber Swink was sprayed in the same jail while strapped in a restraint chair in November 2015.
The video -- edited with Wade's footage below -- from that incident surfaced in September 2016.
At the time that Swink says she had already been pepper-sprayed once when Sgt. Judith L. Sealey shot some more pepper spray into Swink’s face at point-blank range.
The 25-year-old woman was restrained and not able to clear her eyes of the chemical, oleoresin capsicum.
"It felt like somebody just crushed up fresh peppers and made me use them as face cream," Swink told the newspaper. "It took my breath away. You’re fighting for air. I remember my mouth was filling with a thick slobber, like foaming up -- and that was also blocking my airway. I thought I might die."
At the time, Plummer called it an "an isolated incident."