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Complaint involving inmate, 2 Mahoning deputies probed

Published: Sat, September 1, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.
  Alleged Deputy Assault

This is a portion of the video released by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office showing an altercation between a deputy sheriff and prisoner Duniek Christian in the county jail. The matter is under investigation.

This is a portion of the video released by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office showing an altercation between a deputy sheriff and prisoner Duniek Christian in the county jail. The matter is under investigation.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



Internal affairs investigators at the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department are sorting through the details of an altercation that has sent two deputies home on administrative leave and facing the possibility of other sanctions.

Deputies William Horn and Kip Danks are both on paid leave until the investigation into a complaint filed by 27-year-old Duniek Christian, an inmate in the county jail, has been resolved.

Danks has been with the sheriff’s department since June 1997, and Horn has been with the department since May 2000. Sheriff Randall Wellington said neither deputy has had any past disciplinary issues.

Christian was convicted earlier this month of felony failure to comply with the signal or order of a police officer and sentenced to three years in prison. He also is waiting to stand trial on a felonious-assault charge.

The sheriff said the alleged incident took place while deputies were transporting Christian to the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court for a hearing Aug. 1. Christian contends he was changing clothes, taking off the attire he wore to court and putting on the county-issued orange jumpsuit, when he was punched repeatedly by Horn in a holding area in the courthouse basement.

Horn, Wellington said, contends he was assaulted by Christian and defending himself.

“We started an internal investigation, and as a result of that investigation, we placed Horn and another deputy, Kip Danks, on administrative leave,” said Wellington. “He claims he was assaulted by Deputy Horn. At the time, the incident was videotaped.”

Wellington has released the videotape of the incident, and it can be viewed on Vindy.com.

The video, which has no sound, shows Horn and Christian in a room with an opened door. Horn grabs and pulls Christian, who fell to the floor. More words appear to be said, and Horn hits Christian about a half dozen times, then places Christian into handcuffs.

Another deputy, who could not be clearly seen, closes the door to the room as the altercation takes place.

Wellington did not say what role Danks played in the altercation, but he said the investigation is continuing and investigators will be questioning a number of deputies involved in the transportation process for jail inmates.

“Our investigation is broad because there were numerous deputies involved in the transportation and we have to question every one of them,” said Wellington.

Wellington said penalties for the deputies, if found to be in the wrong, could range from suspension to termination or criminal prosecution.

Christian made local news in 2005 when he was accused of being involved in a rolling gunbattle with Youngstown police. In 2008, a jury acquitted Christian of charges related to shooting at police, but was “unable to decide” whether Christian was guilty of complicity with the three other men shooting assault rifles at the seven police officers.


1whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Looked like Christian was pulling away from the deputy to me. Christian was clearly not following commands.
Would be nice to have audio.

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2Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

He more in likely deserved every punch he got. Sissy boy needs to take it like a man instead of crying about it.

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3Joe306tow(49 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I have to admit the Deputy went overboard getting this guy in cuffs, but the first thing I saw was "Christian" try to escape. That should have been enough to warrant at least a tazer shock or two.

When Christian tried to escape, why didn't the other deputy come into the room? He simply closed the door.

Deputies had two other choices that would not waste money on investigations, possible lawsuits or other needless remedies. Either the Right or Wrong Way.

He should have assisted the other deputy, since Christian tried to escape. If that would have happened this Scum Bag would have been in cuffs without a punch thrown, and without wasting taxpayers money on a needless investigation.

Let him escape a shoot him down as a dangerous escaped criminal. Either way would save taxpayers money.

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4killwhathurts(4 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

ok ppl... seriously.... regardless of what this guy did or said... what happened in this video was totally out of line... u can even tell by the deputies body language afterwards that he had a point to prove, and had let his anger take over the situation... ive been to prison, and i have seen innocent ppl lose years of thier lives over false allegations... im not saying this guy is innocent, but what if your family member was him, and they were a little pissed off they just got YEARS in prison... they are gonna have some unkind words and feelings, and the deputies know that... unfortunately i had the pleasure of spending alot of time with them and some of them are pricks... flat out... i just never said anything cuz no one was dumb enough to lay a hand on me...

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5killwhathurts(4 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

and another thing i just noticed.... he shouldnt have been in that room without handcuffs on in the first place!! they switch your handcuffs for transport right outside that room BEFORE you are placed in that room awaiting transport... seems like something a veteran deputy sheriff would know...

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6Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

yea, I don't know about this....

The issue is whether or not what transpired in that immediate instance between the officer and suspect warrants the officer striking the suspect several times with a closed fist (apparently in the area of the head/face but it was hard to tell from the video).

The rule is that physical force is completely acceptable and justifiable when used by an officer to meet the level of force that is being used initially by a bad guy.

In this case, from the video it is very hard to tell what aggression level the inmate was using immediately prior to being thrown on the ground and punched by the officer. If the inmate was injuring or attempting to injure the officer, and it cannot be clearly observed from the video, then the officer should be ok. However, if the inmate did not precipitate the officer's strikes with an adequate amount of initial force against the officer, then that officer could have a problem.

Conclusion: I don't like what the video shows and I hope I just cannot see what actually justifies this officer's actions.

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7southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

Duniek Christian sees this as way to get some money...

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8Southside_Res(172 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

A way for Duniek to get money?! How did Duniek know that deputy was going to fly off the handle like that and cold-cock him right upside the head? Some of you might think the inmate deserved it for his alleged crimes, but it isn't the job of the sheriff's office to meet out punishment before the man has even been tried. A lot of you want to hear the audio, thinking that there might have been some justification for this attack. Well, audio isn't relevant here. It looks like the deputy has an anger management issue. I'm just glad this guy didn't pull me over for speeding or something like that, have a bad night, and start tazing me because he got a wild hair up his... Thanks to Vindicator for asking for this video. Thank goodness for video. More cops these days are getting pulled off the job for doing things they shouldn't have been doing anyway. 20 years ago, this would have been pushed under the rug.

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9Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

I posted this on the other article......

Waaaa waaaa waaaa want some cheese with that WHINING. If you stay clean and obey the law you wouldn't end up in jail. Duh! Common sense!

You people are a trip, you have NO IDEA what goes on in County or Prison. You think this was sooo horrible, this was NOTHING! And I can make that comment because I've been there, done that, and brought the t shirt. When your incarcerated you just DEAL with it. And not all the time does the Officer come out unharmed. You win some you lose some you just prepare for another chance. In prison or county you don't see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing, and that goes for BOTH, the inmates and officers. If you's only knew. You people are a trip, getting bent out of shape over a few punches in a COUNTY jail, County jail is a joke. Wait till he becomes a resident of the Ohio Department of Corrections. That is laughable. You wouldn't last a half of day being incarcerated if you thought that was so bad. LMFAO!

And redding, quit bringing up those two nutcases. Give it a rest.

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10lilgandee(103 comments)posted 2 years, 1 month ago

At least he is getting an investigation, more than I got. I am a harden criminal-got 30 days & firsy days ever in jail for not paying child support. I could have paid it off selling an annuity but ex wanted me in jail and there I went. Took medicine & money, knew meds allowed and what they give you so knew I would need money. Ask what to do with meds, he says empty your pockets so I do, wonder if I should give up my money and do. When in back no money, complain and they say it will be on tape, never heard anything. The guard who I gave it to runs his mouth and runs it. I trusted the guy n got burned, hell I was in there for not paying steady to my kids, and this guy rips me off money. Most guards were cool but just can't believe I was ripped off by a cop. Prove me wrong, they didn't care, but I know he did-why go to jail empty handed?

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11Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years ago

lilgandee, I think I speak for the majority of Vindy users...


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12Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago


"You seem to think that no matter how a police officer treats someone it is ok !"

Now where did I ever say that?

""When probably some of them including this one in the video need anger mangement. ""

How in the He@# do you know that? Do you know the Officer? ONE incident and you think he needs Anger Management? Just like that. That's unbelievable if you have that power. You have NO clue what went on without the audio or what happened before this. If it comes out the Officer was wrong, then he should be disciplined or fired or put in jail. Kind of hard to believe that after 12 years on the force and with NO past disciplinary issues, he would give up a career over a low life punk, and boy did he mess up in reporting this incident. He made his own bed and now has to lay in it, it will follow him from jail to jail. LMFAO! Hate to be him....

""They think they are tough and can do whatever they want ....WRONG ! ""

First off if you don't run afoul of the law then you would never have to deal with the Police, ever! Unless you need them when some filthy cockroach is robbing you or your family, or someone shooting up a building with people in it, and on and on. Then they'll be your hero, bad cop or not. Second, I'm hoping your not targeting ALL police officers, because your going to have a lot of pissed off Officers, their wives, their family, their children, their loved one, etc. Of course your going to have good people and bad people in EVERY job. It is what it is.

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13lilgandee(103 comments)posted 2 years ago

Good cops n bad cops are like every job, sometimes one gets a little authority it goes to their head. My kids are fine, do you know me or them or why I got behind, glass houses buddy. Not making anything anyones problem just pointing out that some cops are bad and to take forty bucks is lame but knew my ride was gone and no money could be replaced until visitation, power is it. Read about good and bad cops all the time, as stated all jobs have them.

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14Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago


""....and no money could be replaced until visitation""

Actually they could have sent you money orders in the mail. It was in your Inmate Handbook when you were processed. Would have been there in one or two days.
Also they could have taken your money if you owe fines, or any costs.

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15Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago


"FBI is looking into everything...."

HaHa, and I have a very cheap bridge for sell in Brooklyn....

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16hollywood(94 comments)posted 2 years ago

it makes me so so sick to hear ppl out there act like he deserved a beating if he was talking crap. this is crazy. we live in america. police officers apply for that job. they should be well trained to not let a situation go that far. and that cop was sitting on his back punching him,what self defence is that? if that same situation was between 2 ppl on the street and police pulled up the guy on the other guy back would be in jail in front of kobly. thats where that cop should be!!!!!

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17chaney87(6 comments)posted 2 years ago

He tried to escape! Did NOT comply with verbal commands. The strikes to the head/neck area ARE within the scope of the "use of forec continuum" used by just about EVERY law enforcement agency in the country.

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18Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago


"Try the ENGLISH language."

Why? You have a hard time "understanding" my comments? Or you just don't like when someone disagrees with you? Should we call the FBI?


"it makes me so so sick to hear ppl out there act like he deserved a beating if he was talking crap. this is crazy."

You call that a "beating." What this cockroach dished out would really make you "sick." You have to know the player and the sh@# he dishes out, before defending the animal.

"police officers apply for that job. they should be well trained to not let a situation go that far. and that cop was sitting on his back punching him,what self defence is that? "

Where you there? Do you know the history between them? You see a "silent" video and already condemn the officer. Really? I would hate for you to be on a jury.

"if that same situation was between 2 ppl on the street and police pulled up the guy on the other guy back would be in jail in front of kobly. thats where that cop should be!!!!!"

Really?? I've seen tons of fights in my time, especially when the police were called. Very rarely does anyone go to jail over a fist fight.


It's a losing cause with these bleeding hearts. But when he's back on the streets and doing the same thing or even worse, there the first ones to bi@# why he's back on the streets. Not to mention the shi@# people don't even hear about. Pitiful.

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19Bman(151 comments)posted 2 years ago


This is a sincere request because I want to see that what you are alleging exists, in-fact. When on the video does that inmate attempt escape? I do not see it and if you can explain that video, I would appreciate it.

However, if the escape attempt started before the events unfolded in the holding cell, then this application of force is unjustified. That inmate/suspect walked into that holding cell, was not in handcuffs, and from the video, was apparently calm and docile.

Again, I would like anyone with more knowledge of the video to share things that are hard to see.

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20chaney87(6 comments)posted 2 years ago

Channel 27 had the escape attempt on their web site. Not sure if it's still up. Use of force policies are public record. Go to ANY law enforcement agency and ask for a copy. 110 5th Ave. Youngstown, Oh. Read Mahoning County's use of force policy. Right in the caption is says " this is a portion" of the video of what happened.

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21Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago

"Then the Deputy could justify his use of force in his report, but the problem is obvious in that the Deputy didn't know about the camera."

Everyone knows where the cameras are. Officers and Inmates. And 99.99% know the angles the cameras pan out to. Thus the blind areas, the handling of business areas, etc.

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22hollywood(94 comments)posted 2 years ago


ive read alot of your comments and id have to say you are a very angry judgemental person. i think you need anger management. you seen exactly what i seen on that video. if that is ok with you, where our rights as citizenes? what crime he commited or what he has done in the past has nothing to do with what that cop did. in america we have rights. you need to live in one of those 3rd world countrys where they can do whatever they want to anybody. you'll be the first to cry when your rights are takin away.

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23lumper(281 comments)posted 2 years ago

i used to think it was never justified to hit a guy that was cuffed, but then you meet some of these jerks and you look the other way - these guys earn their beatings and this bonehead wasn't even cuffed yet.

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24unbeeleeveable(4 comments)posted 2 years ago

Hmm....hard to choose a side on this one. Scumbag most likely deserved a good punch in the face - but then again most of the deputies are a crooked lot that think they are invincible. I say lock em both up together!!

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25southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years ago

I love this post...I'm sure that most of us can agree that we do not condone police violence; yet, this low-life was arrested and must be controlled while in custody.

Furthermore, there is no audio; therefore, we do not know if the prisoner was threatening the deputy...it is easy for armchair experts to comment!

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26Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago


"ive read alot of your comments and id have to say you are a very angry judgemental person. i think you need anger management."

Angry? Judgmental?? Me? There you go making assumptions on a person not even knowing them. I'm the most laid back, nicest guy you ever met. Even though what I've been through in my life (which was MY fault, not the cops, not no one else, but me) and I deserved "everything" I got thrown at me. See I take responsibility for my actions. If you notice in my comments, I get hard on the criminals in our city/society ONLY because I know what goes on when there incarcerated. Especially the repeat offenders, that I was once. Very few change. If you only knew. Talking from "experience" which I'm sure you have no idea.

"you seen exactly what i seen on that video."

And your point? You take the side of the criminal without knowing ANYTHING what prompt it. If there was audio you would get a idea. If the cop was wrong he should be disciplined, if it was a just a typical inmate vs officer disagreement, you look the other way! Sorry to burst your bleeding heart, but it does happen, just about "everyday." This cockroach ran to the media. Feel bad for him in the long run.....

""if that is ok with you, where our rights as citizenes?""

When your incarcerated it's all a different society in jail. You follow the rules. Do your time, stay under the radar , get out and move on in life.

""what crime he commited or what he has done in the past has nothing to do with what that cop did. ""

Oh you sad, sad misguided fool. His PAST is the reason he's in JAIL. Yes it has EVERYTHING to do with it. geez

""you need to live in one of those 3rd world countrys where they can do whatever they want to anybody. you'll be the first to cry when your rights are takin away.""

I was in the United States Navy, I've been to those 3rd World Country's. What does that have to do with this cockroach in Youngstown, Ohio getting a little roughed up. Suck it up and move on, don't be a wimp about it. He dishes it out, he should take it.

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27Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago



You call that Excessive force? That was "nothing." That's what you call a little bi@# slapping.


"I'm sure that most of us can agree that we do not condone police violence"

Thank you. Yes, we shouldn't have police violence at all. If you have a gung ho, egotistic, better then thou, Officer that gets off on violence, those are the cops that need to be disciplined, fired, etc. This Officer has been a officer for 12 years, with NO DISCIPLINARY issues, and these bleeding hearts thinks he's going to throw away 12 years over THIS cockroach. Not likely. More to this story then what the media and video shows.

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28lumper(281 comments)posted 2 years ago

if this officer had a violence problem, we'd know about him beating his wife/girlfriend, kids, pets and guys at the local bar.

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29Shamrock29(20 comments)posted 2 years ago

Pay the guy an undisclosed amount of money to settle..put him back on the streets..and wait. He'll be dead in less than a year. He was obviously fishing for a reaction from the deputy, and offered no resistance once his desired outcome was achieved. We all know a true thug would've fought back to build street credit. This puke just went limp. It's unfortunate that those deputies get tested like that day in and day out.

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30USMC0331(150 comments)posted 2 years ago

This punk A$$ B!t@h deserved that and more. You know how many people he's probably killed? I'm sure you tree hugging, bleeding hearts will say, Oh, how do know and He deserves rights just like the next person. Wrong!! We've gone away from the society where every person should be treated equal. Its time for a change. If you are law abiding, no need to worry! Just look at the news! The other day a guy got 6 years for a double murder. You still think he should be treated equal? What if it were your family members and the guy only got 6 years? Here is a thought, in some countries if you steal your hand gets cut off. Probably don't have a lot of thieves in that country. We are The United States of America though where no matter what you do we're worried about your feelings.

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31lumper(281 comments)posted 2 years ago

if i remember the story correctly, iron mike, people continually covered up for budd.

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32LtMacGowan(643 comments)posted 2 years ago

This video is sickening. Those deputies should be fired and prosecuted for criminal assault. I'm pretty sure the proper response in the deputy's handbook for a prisoner sitting on the floor ignoring the officer isn't "Punch him in the head repeatedly"

It also sickens me the number of people who are basically saying they don't care if deputies beat people up.

Nobody is above the law. Anyone remember Major Michael Budd? who went to prison for beating inmates. That's where these two deputies are going. Maybe a deputy there will beat them.

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33Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago


"I'm pretty sure the proper response in the deputy's handbook for a prisoner sitting on the floor ignoring the officer isn't "Punch him in the head repeatedly"

How in the h@# could you tell from a video with NO audio what was said or what happened. You see ONE thing and you already condemn the man. Get the facts straight and then blast the Officers. You have NO idea what happened prior to this video without sound. Hate for you to be on a jury.

""It also sickens me the number of people who are basically saying they don't care if deputies beat people up.""

Like or not, it's the way it is, when your incarcerated. Wait till he goes to prison if you think that was so horrible. Don't do nothing against the law and you wouldn't be in that position. Especially shooting at officers well in the streets. That is a big NO-NO. Comprehend?

""Nobody is above the law.""

Who said anyone was above the law? Just GOD.

""Major Michael Budd?""

From 2005! Your comparing THIS to this idiot Budd. You people are a trip.

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34USMC0331(150 comments)posted 2 years ago

Once again this scum bag piece of trash does not deserve rights. Had this been a normal citizen, then yes what a terrible act. He is not a normal person he is lower than the lowest scum on earth. New law.....become a thug piece of trash like this bag and have all of your rights revoked. But this is the world of feelings i forgot.

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35Lifes2Short(3877 comments)posted 2 years ago


" I think you need help and I will pray for you."

I need help? Well yea, could use a little more cash flow if you want to help out. That is funny. If you want to say a pray for me, then Thank You from the bottom of my heart. Can't go wrong with prayers.

Any ho, You weren't THERE! Once again, for the millionth time, you have NO IDEA what happened. You seem like the type of person that sees one thing and comes straight to a conclusion without looking deeper into the matter. Again, you weren't there! What part is so hard to comprehend. You see it your way and I see it my way. Wait to see what comes out of the investigation. And if the Officer is wrong, then you can ream on the officer and cuddle the little cockroach like he's Youngstown's Pride and Joy. You bleeding hearts are acting like this was a brutal murder!

Hopefully this LITTLE bi@#ch slapping makes this filthy cockroach a productive member of society instead of a cold blooded, don't give a sh@#, useless DNA waste. But highly doubt it. When he's released just pray you don't happen to cross his path out on the streets. Might pay with your life. Then I would like to hear your comments babying this filth.

America is becoming such a wimpy nation. No backbone to punish the criminals and protect the innocent. Why even have laws when everyone cry's for the cockroaches. Everyone should be a criminal, you have more bleeding hearts for them, then you do for the innocent ones that really need the support. Such a shame.

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36LtMacGowan(643 comments)posted 2 years ago

Even if the guy said "Im going to eat your liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti" it doesn't give the deputy the right to start beating him.

Seriously what do you think the guy is saying while lying on the floor getting wailed on? "Please Sir may I have another?"

Btw if there was a god I'd want to bring him up on charges too. Genocide would be a good place to start. Maybe we can get the Hague to indict him with other evil fictional characters as well.

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37Happyleo(1 comment)posted 2 years ago

Memories are short! Kip Danks should not even be a deputy! He has a prior conviction for purjury and now he's involved in a prisoner beating. (He's the one closing the door) Now look back, and remember there were two supervisors and deputies convicted of the same thing and went to prison for it. Wait till the feds get a old of this with the video as evidence. Some one will be closing the door (slaming) on Danks. Civil Rights violation is serious stuff with the feds. And they (Mcso) playing it down like its just an assault. That's what them others deputies thought! Until they were looking out Thur bars! And don't forget those other deputies that were watching on the monitor in the other room they are just as culpable as Horn and Danks! Time to pay the piper! Pucker up!

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38Boomer(17 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

"Randall Wellington said neither deputy has had any past disciplinary issues."



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