Mecklenburg jail officer fired after assaulting handcuffed inmate, Sheriff’s Office says

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The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office terminated a jail officer Wednesday after detention center security video showed her assaulting a handcuffed inmate a week ago.

Detention Officer Chandler Craig has been arrested and charged with simple assault for the incident, the Sheriff’s Office said. Craig began working with the office on Dec. 9, 2015.

A Sept. 13 verbal dispute between Craig and the inmate escalated into the jail officer using a level of “physical force” that didn’t follow the Sheriff’s Office’s policies, procedures and training, the office said.

Craig submitted a written report about her application of force but failed to disclose the exact details of the incident, which were “clearly captured” on detention center security video, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Mecklenburg County denied an Observer request for a copy of the video, saying audio and video recordings from Sheriff’s Office facilities are not public records under state law and may be released only under court order.

In a statement, Sheriff Garry McFadden said he personally reviews all use of force reports submitted by detention staff and notified his office’s criminal investigations unit after reading about this incident.

It’s the latest incident at the uptown detention center this year, including three deaths:

Detention Officer Ellis Chambers was terminated on July 9 for getting into a physical altercation with 29-year-old inmate James McIllwaine in June. Both men received criminal summons for simple assault.

On June 25, James Holmes, 42, cut a jail officer with “a homemade weapon” and bit her as she made a medication pass, the Sheriff’s Office said. The officer received treatment at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and was released.

On June 22, Emerson Healy, 55, was found unresponsive in his cell a day after being being arrested by CATS special police on misdemeanor weapons and proof of payment charges, the Observer previously reported. No cause of death has been released.

The Sheriff’s Office fired Kyle Harris in early June after the 28-year-old jail officer was charged with multiple sex crimes in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a transgender inmate.

John Devin Haley, 41, died of an apparent suicide on May 22, according to the Sheriff’s Office. He had been held at the jail on federal charges since April 3, officials said.

Karon Golightly, a 20-year-old suspect in a string of Charlotte-area robberies, was found unresponsive on May 14. He died at a hospital.

Staff writer Michael Gordon contributed to this story.

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