Jail guard pleads guilty to reduced charge in inmate scuffle

State

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former county jail officer in Cleveland who was accused of punching a handcuffed inmate has pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge.

Reion Cook pleaded guilty on Thursday to persistent disorderly conduct after initially being charged with assault in the scuffle captured on video at the Cuyahoga County Jail.

Prosecutors also dropped charges of dereliction of duty and interfering with civil rights.

Authorities said Cook “physically assaulted” a 42-year-old man in February as he was handcuffed and booked into the jail on a drunken-driving charge.

Cleveland.com reports that Cook’s attorney says he didn’t punch the man but hit him with his elbow and shoulder.

He also criticized how the county sheriff’s office and the city prosecutor’s office have handled the case. He also says Cook hadn’t been trained in use-of-force since he was hired in 2001.

The county fired Cook in November but the union has appealed and is trying to get his job back.

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