I-Team: Hamilton County deputy accused of kicking inmate had been involved in one previous use-of-force incident

Posted at 7:06 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 19:06:07-04

CINCINNATI — Sgt. Jesse Franklin, the Hamilton County deputy charged with assault and accused of kicking an inmate in the head June 9, was disciplined 12 years ago for "unnecessary use of force" on another inmate in the county jail, according to records in Franklin's personnel file.

The WCPO 9 I-Team received a copy of Franklin's records Thursday after filing a public records request with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Jim Neil suspended Franklin with pay and took away his policing powers on June 16, according to Franklin's records. Two days later, Neil suspended Franklin without pay. A Hamilton County grand jury indicted him July 2 for misdemeanor assault.

Franklin's personnel file shows Franklin received a counseling letter in 2008 for "unnecessary use of force" on an inmate.

According to the report on the 2008 incident, Franklin said the inmate threatened him from inside his cell. He claimed he saw the inmate get up on his bed and feared for the inmate's safety, so Franklin asked a corrections officer to open the inmate's cell door.

Franklin claimed the inmate ran toward him and swung, prompting him to push the inmate and hit a wall.

A corrections officer separated Franklin and the prisoner. Franklin was taken to a hospital for treatment.

That was the only previous discipline Franklin received for a use-of-force incident, according to the personnel file.

In November 2019, Franklin received his most recent annual employee evaluation and got an overall score of 11 on a scale of 1-20.

The supervisor who evaluated his performance wrote "Sgt. Franklin does a good job of handling day to day operations in intake" but he"struggles with making sure use-of-force reports are turned in in a timely manner."

If convicted of misdemeanor assault, Franklin faces up to six months in jail.