Corrionne Lawrence, a former Cuyahoga County inmate, has filed a lawsuit against Cuyahoga County and several corrections officers, alleging that officers beat him, threatened to hang him and make it look like a suicide.
According to the lawsuit, the beatings began after Lawrence was booked into the jail on Sept. 16, 2018 for a probation violation. He initially answered the officers’ questions in Spanish, which allegedly made them angry. They put him in a restraint chair for four hours as a punishment for speaking Spanish.
Once he was booked, Lawrence told the officers that he shouldn’t be in the same cell as an inmate who says he killed his cousin in 2016. He was placed in a separate pod in the beginning, but was reassigned to the same pod where the man who killed his cousin was housed.
Lawrence said that threats against him started immediately. He threw a milk container with urine in it at the man, who then attacked him in the cell.
The Special Response Team handcuffed Lawrence and escorted him to an elevator for throwing the urine.
The suit says an officer told Lawrence “Let’s play a game,” which led to Lawrence being punched and kicked inside the elevator. Afterward, he was taken to his cell with a bloodied head and did not receive any medical attention.
On another occasion, Lawrence asked to take a shower several times. This allegedly provoked a corrections officer to hold a pepper spray canister in front of his face and threatened to mace him if he didn’t stop asking to take a shower. The officer then threatened to hang Lawrence and make it look like a suicide.
“In a space where the individuals who are incarcerated know about the bodies that have been piling up at the county’s door for the past year, just to casually make a threat like that, it truly is a shocking level of depravity,” said Lawrence’s attorney Ashlie Case Sletvold.