Daily US Times: Six employees of a Texas sheriff’s office have been suspended and eleven suspended following the death of an inmate who was hit multiple times in the head by detention officers, authorities said on Friday.
Ed Gonzalez, the Harris county sheriff, said he was “very upset and heartbroken” after a three-month investigation into the death of Jaquaree Simmons, 23, in February.
Medical examiners ruled that the inmate’s death a homicide from injuries to his head.
Gonzalez said: “We have a duty to protect those in our care and that didn’t happen.”
A sheriff’s office internal affairs investigation about the matter concluded Simmons had three fights with detention officers on 16 February, when the jail had lost power and water pressure during a deadly winter storm.
The first use of force against Jaquaree Simmons took place that morning after he clogged the toilet of his jail cell and officers responded to clean it. That night, a detention officer hit the inmate in the face after he threw his meal tray at the officer and charged at him, authorities said. When more officers were called in to take Simmons for a medical evaluation, they hit him multiple times in the head, said Maj Thomas Diaz, who led the investigation.
Simmons was evaluated by a doctor at a clinic in jail and had a cut to his left eyebrow and upper lip but reported no pain.
According to Diaz, he was taken back to his cell but officers failed to bring him back to the clinic for follow-up X-rays.
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