An Ohio woman is suing her local police department for using pepper spray on her while she was restrained, and the video evidence is chilling.
While being restrained in an isolation room at the Montgomery County Jail in Dayton, Ohio, 25-year-old Amber Swink was pepper-sprayed directly in the face at close range while deputies laughed.
In the video released by the law firm representing Swink, the woman is seen struggling in the harness while Sgt. Judith Sealey calmly approaches her and fires pepper spray directly into Swink’s face. The spray dripped down onto Swink’s shirt, and remnants of the blast are also seen hitting the wall behind her.
“It felt like somebody just crushed up fresh peppers and made me use them as face cream,” Swink said in an interview with The Washington Post. “It took my breath away. You’re fighting for air. I remember my mouth was filling with a thick slobber, like foaming up — and that was also blocking my airway.”
On Tuesday, Swink filed a lawsuit against the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department in U.S. District Court in Ohio, alleging the officers who facilitated the pepper spraying incident used excessive force “that amounted to torture.” In the complaint, Swink also accused the sheriff’s department of orchestrating a cover-up by destroying critical evidence.
“I thought I might die,” Swink told the Post.
Swink had been arrested while drinking at her home on November 15, 2015, and deputies said she had been acting belligerent and aggressive toward jail personnel. However, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer told the Post that Swink’s treatment was an “isolated incident” no indicative of how his department treats inmates, and that he would be opposing the lawsuit.
This isn’t that egregious where she’s walked away with any serious injuries. The officer she spit on should sue her,” Plummer said.