Cincinnati, OH — A Cincinnati cop is actually being held accountable this week after a disturbing video showed him shove an elderly man so hard that he smashed his face on a concrete bench and broke his hip.
On Thursday, former Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy Jason Mize was arrested after he was federally indicted on a charge of deprivation of rights under the color of law. The now-former deputy was seen on video attacking 61-year-old Mark Myers, who was only in jail after being falsely accused of a crime.
According to Cincinnati.com, Myers was arrested Aug. 20, 2016 after being accused of walking out of a Columbia Township Home Depot without paying for $120 in lighting and electrical equipment – a charge that ultimately resulted in an acquittal. He said there had been a computer error related to an online payment he’d already made.
In the video, Mize is seen throwing the elderly man into a holding cell so hard that he went flying into the concrete bench, suffering multiple lacerations to his head and a broken hip.
The incident happened in August of 2016 at the Hamilton County Justice Center. It was captured on the jail’s extremely low quality surveillance video. However, it is clear enough to see a crime take place.
One year ago, Myers sued both Mize and Sheriff Jim Neil, claiming he suffered severe injuries after hitting his head on the concrete wall. Last week, the lawsuit was settled and the taxpayers of Cincinnati shelled out $500,000 to pay for Mize’s crimes.
According to the lawsuit, an internal affairs report said that Mize’s direct supervisor claimed that shoving the elderly man into a concrete wall and bench, causing him to break his hip, did not go against the policy of the jail.
The prosecution agreed and they declined to press charges. However, all that appears to be changing now.
This overt use of excessive force and subsequent cover ups seems to be an ongoing problem in Hamilton County. Even a former jailer has spoken out in the form of a lawsuit against Sheriff Neil and the county, claiming that she was fired for exposing their use of excessive force.
Former major Charmaine McGuffey actually tried to get Mize held accountable for his attack on Myers, but this was to no avail.
In the internal affairs report, former Maj. McGuffey is quoted as saying, “Mize should be arrested or fired for his actions.”
The report concluded Mize “violated our standards which rise to the level of dishonesty and excessive force, along with other internal violations, and disciplinary action is required.”
McGuffey took over the jail when it was the worst in the state. However, in just three years she turned it into one of the best. She was named Law Enforcement Officer and Public Citizen of the Year for her efforts. However, when she tried to expose the jail’s extensive record of excessive force, that’s when they took her out.
It appears that although the state prosecution allowed Mize to escape any accountability, his case was turned over to the FBI who actually charged him. During a hearing on Thursday, federal prosecutors told a judge there were multiple incidents in which he’d used excessive force on inmates. Each time, Mize was disciplined, but he was never fired.
During a detention hearing, federal prosecutors say they have been made aware of other incidents where Jason Mize punched, slammed and put inmates in choke holds. Also say he made boasts on Facebook @Local12
— Larry Davis 30 (@LarryDavis30) May 17, 2018
Mize’s attorney told the judge that his client worked in a tough environment which required tough decisions. Apparently, shoving an elderly man into a concrete wall and breaking his hip is one of those tough decisions Mize had to make to keep the citizens of Cincinnati safe.
FBI agents arrested Mize on Thursday and he was released on his own recognizance shortly thereafter, which the judge saying he did not see Mize as a threat to the public. Mize will have to meet several conditions, however, including drug and alcohol testing and a mental evaluation.
If Mize is convicted, he faces up to ten years in prison.