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7 Ohio prison employees fired after Black inmate’s death

Michael McDaniel’s death was ruled a homicide.

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Seven Ohio prison employees were terminated after they reportedly used unjustified and excessive force against a Black inmate who died in custody back in February. According to ABC News, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction sent a notice of removal to five corrections officers, a licensed nurse and a supervisor following their investigation into the in-custody death of Michael McDaniel, a 55-year-old Black man.

Security footage showed McDaniel collapsing and being taken down to the floor by prison guards at least 16 times before he eventually died at the Correctional Reception Center on Feb. 6.

Heath Causey, one of the officers who was involved in the incident, is accused of performing a “take-down” of McDaniel while he was being escorted outside without shoes and a coat, “causing his body to veer off the walking path and land face-down in a snow-covered area.”

According to disciplinary records, Lt. Bruce Brown “took no steps to stop” McDaniel from falling to the ground and did not request assistance to “safely transport” him to the medical facility after the officers used unnecessary force.

Once McDaniel arrived at the medical center, the nurse took less than a minute to conduct his medical examination and did not do a standard exam or check his vital signs. He was then escorted back outside the facility where he collapsed for the last time. An ambulance was called and CPR was administered, however, he died.

Several hours later, Jamie Dukes, a licensed nurse, signed a medical form saying that McDaniel refused treatment, although she was not in the room to hear if that happened.

“We’re responsible for what happened in that video,” director Annette Chambers-Smith told reporters last month July, after surveillance footage of the incident was released to the public. “There is no question about that.”

The Franklin County Coroner’s office ruled McDaniel’s death a homicide and named the cause as a “stress-induced sudden cardiac death.” He suffered from injuries to his face, head, shoulders, wrists, knees, feet, hands, abdomen and toes. A county prosecutor will make a decision on whether to criminally charge the prison employees who were involved in McDaniel’s death.

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