July 22, 2014

Elyria
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Video shows jail guard’s attack on inmate

ELYRIA — Lorain County Jail Corrections Officer Marlon Taylor struck inmate Jordan Sand at least a dozen times during a July 29 incident that led to a misdemeanor assault charge against the guard, a video of the altercation shows.

The incident began with Sand refusing to take anti-depression medication the morning of July 29, according to a county sheriff’s investigative report.

Taylor, who is now on paid administrative leave, was accompanying a nurse distributing medication to inmates in Sand’s pod at the county jail. Sand told investigators that he prefers to take the medication at night. He said he refused every morning, but on the day of the incident, Taylor insisted he come up and sign a refusal paper.

If he didn’t comply, Taylor told Sand, who was jailed on theft, breaking-and-entering and drug charges at the time, he would be placed in “the hole.”

When Sand initially came up to Taylor, he wasn’t wearing the shirt of his jail uniform, and Taylor ordered him to put it back on. Taylor also questioned Sand about his lack of a jail identification bracelet, and Sand replied that he didn’t have one although he’s asked.

“I don’t like your attitude,” Taylor said, according to a transcript of the partially recorded conversation between the two. “Every time I work over here …”

“Chill, dude,” Sand replied.

Taylor then ordered Sand to collect his belongings, and Sand bid farewell to his fellow inmates, during which Taylor told him, “You’re talking to the wrong (expletive) right here.”

“Bye everybody, peace out, (expletive) this county,” Sand replied.

“No (expletive) you punk, (expletive) you punk, (expletive) you punk, (expletive) you punk,” Taylor said, according to the transcript. “Talk to me like you talk to these other (expletive). I dare you.”

The two men then exited the pod through a secure door and, according to the report, Taylor slammed Sand against the glass of the control room on the other side of the door.

Taylor told detectives that Sand had pulled away from him when they came out of the door, although Sand denied he had done anything to provoke Taylor.

A video of the incident, which doesn’t include audio, shows the two men walking away from the control room toward a bench. They stop and are face-to-face with each other. During his interview with investigators, Sand said they were explaining their previous actions to each other.

The video then shows Sand back up to a bench along the wall with Taylor a short distance away.

“He states he was just being a smart ass and wasn’t threatening or trying to intimidate the officer,” the report said.

Sand also said that Taylor threatened to knock his teeth out and he replied, “Whatever, fat ass,” before Taylor began walking away. But the guard turned around and began striking him.

Taylor, however, told investigators that he felt threatened by Sand when the inmate told him, “You were that close to getting your ass kicked,” while holding up a hand with his fingers indicating a measurement. Sand had his other hand balled into a fist at his side, Taylor said.

But according to investigators, the video shows the actions consistent with Sand making the comment about fighting Taylor took place well before the guard slams Sand into the wall, his hands near the inmate’s neck.

After Sand hit the wall, Taylor punches him repeatedly before Sand tries to get away.

Taylor continues wrestling with Sand, forcing him to the ground and delivering repeated blows with his elbow to Sand’s back before other jail guards rush in to help with the situation.

On the video, Sand doesn’t appear to try to defend himself during the attack, which lasted around 30 seconds. He later told deputies that he tried to curl into a fetal position to protect himself.

Taylor told investigators that he felt his use of force was justified and that he continued to fight with Sand because the inmate refused to put his arms out to the side after he was on the floor so he could be handcuffed.

Sand denied that Taylor told him to lay prone, but rather said, “Don’t ever raise your hand to me.”

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.