SUFFOLK, Va. – The Western Tidewater Regional Jail Superintendent said on Wednesday that a correctional officer has been fired after an altercation with an inmate.
The incident happened on November 5 and as in all cases using force, immediately after the altercation a supervisor reviewed video of the incident.
That supervisor compiled a report and notified senior management because he thought the incident was outside the policies of using force.
The superintendent was then notified and an internal investigation was launched, the superintendent said.
The investigation was completed the evening of November 7 and the correctional officer was terminated on November 8.
Four other officers were called to assist during the altercation to help restrain the inmate. The internal investigation found that these officers had no knowledge of what had happened before they stepped in so they were cleared of any wrongdoing.
Because the officer is in the appeal process the jail cannot release his name but they did say he has worked for them about three months and had eight years of experience at another facility.
The jail has turned their findings over to the Commonwealth Attorney’s office and they are doing a criminal investigation.
There is video of the altercation but the jail will not be releasing it. The superintendent did note that in the video it is clear that the officer violated the policies and procedures by using force.
The inmate has been identified as Gregory Lassiter. Lassiter’s attorney Justin Bush said he has not seen the video but he has spoke with people involved in the investigation.
Bush says Lassiter asked to see a doctor and the officer became upset and made threats that he was going to hurt him for about an hour.
Bush also says when Lassiter got his medication the officer came from behind and put him in a choke-hold and repeatedly punched the inmate in the face. Lassiter suffered a broken nose, bruised ribs, a concussion, and his torso was soaked in blood, the attorney said.
Lassiter is in jail for robbing an elderly woman in Suffolk back in March.