Since our story yesterday about an investigation into whether trouble-prone former Chandler cop Dan Lovelace abused an ICE inmate being housed in a Pinal County jail, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office has been inundated with calls from media outlets looking for details about the incident.
This afternoon, the PCSO released the details -- they're shitty, literally. But based on the video we received from the PCSO, Lovelace doesn't appear to have done much wrong.
According to the PCSO, the inmate -- an ICE detainee -- was booked into the Pinal County Adult Detention Center on July 23, as a level-3 inmate,the highest custody classification an inmate can have while locked up as a guest of the Department of Homeland Security.
The classification, the Sheriff's Office says, was based on the inmate's history as a troublemaker -- a side that came out shortly after he was booked and the inmate returned a razor to jail staff with paper in place of the blade (in other words, he got caught trying to steal a razor blade).
As for the incident for which Lovelace is under investigation, on December 11, the inmate, who speaks English (it was unclear until now whether the inmate was able to understand the officers commands), asked officers if he could use the bathroom -- despite having used it 12 minutes prior.
The officers told him he would have to wait until they got done checking on the welfare of another inmate.
That's when it happened. The inmate dropped trou and took a dump right on the floor.
He then used his hand and a piece of paper given to him by another inmate to (ahem) clean up.
At that point, Lovelace and three other officers went into the room to remove the inmate, whose hands, Gaffney says, were now covered in feces.
They instructed him to lie on the floor, but the inmate refused. The inmate's refusal, combined with the feces all over his hands (which Gaffney says created a bio-hazard), prompted Lovelace to hit him with "a short burst" of pepper spray. The inmate went to the ground but still refused to put his hands behind his back.
Lovelace hit him with another burst and the inmate changed his tune -- he complied with officers and was taken out of the recreation room and placed in a decontamination shower.
Like all use-of-force incidents, Gaffney says, the incident will be reviewed by the sheriff's Professional Standards Unit, which will determine whether he used appropriate means to subdue the inmate.
Lovelace appears to be in the right in this situation, but, as Gaffney admits, whenever an officer with a history like his is involved in any sort of potential misconduct, it's going to get some attention.
We concluded our story yesterday by saying the video will either vindicate Lovelace or cook his goose.
You be the judge -- check out the video below.
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