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Charging documents: Wyandotte County sergeant shoved, hit inmate

Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 6:00 AM, Dec 18, 2019

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An affidavit indicates that a Wyandotte County sergeant shoved and hit an inmate while in an elevator in September.

Two Wydndotte County Sheriff's Office employees were charged after the incident and placed on administrative leave.

Sgt. David Toland, 47, was charged with one count each of felony aggravated battery and misdemeanor mistreatment of a confined person. Deputy Marcus Johnson, 34, also was charged with misdemeanor assault and mistreatment of a confined person.

An affidavit states that an inmate and the inmate’s cellmate were suspected of smoking in the cell, prompting a search and their removal from the cell.

One inmate was stationed at a table in a housing unit, while the other was taken to a private room by a Wyandotte County Sheriff’s deputy so a strip search could be performed. The deputy, according to the affidavit, said that the individual was vocal, but cooperative. No contraband was found.

Once the deputy was instructed to return the individual to the cell, the individual began walking in the opposite direction of the cell. A deputy grabbed the inmate’s arm, resulting in the inmate pulling away “not to escape, but because Deputy [redacted] was hurting” the inmate’s arm, according to the affidavit. The inmate had previously told the deputy his arm was sore.

After being escorted into an elevator, a deputy continued to hold the inmate’s arm as the inmate turned so the inmate’s chest was “parallel to the wall and only a few inches from it. Additional deputies and a sergeant also were in the elevator at the time.

Once the elevator closed, a sergeant “ran toward” the inmate and “shoved [redacted] into the elevator doors on the opposite side of the elevator from which they entered, then grabbed [redacted] by the neck and punched [redacted] in the face,” according to the affidavit.

The sergeant then grabbed the inmate by the hair, the affidavit stated, and “jerked [redacted] head back into the elevator doors multiple times" until the inmate slumped in the corner. Through the altercation, the deputy that was holding the inmate’s arm had never let go of the arm then escorted the inmate off the elevator.

A deputy, according the affidavit, said that he or she did not know what “warranted” the sergeant’s actions. The deputy said that the sergeant might have thought the inmate “was going to spit,” but that even if the inmate “was going to spit on them, the situation could have been handled differently.”

A deputy also said that the sergeant “overreacted,” but that it was not “typical behavior,” the affidavit stated.

The incident was not written up, according to the deputy in the affidavit, and no formal discipline was issued. No reports were written until a warden “ordered everyone to document the incident.”