Termination of Indian Springs Prison prison guard upheld
January 12, 2018
A state hearings officer has upheld the termination of an Indian Springs Prison guard for his conduct in handling an inmate outside the culinary hall of the prison in 2016.
Paul Valdez reported he had to physically take the inmate to the floor because the inmate, "turned in an aggressive manner," seemingly threatening the officer. He said at that point, "I became face to face with the inmate."
But the hearing officer says the videotape of the entire 10-minute incident in which the inmate was against the wall tells a completely different story.
The official decision says the facts indicate the inmate, "was singled out on Oct. 9, 2016 and unreasonably forced to stand with his hands raised against a wall for an extended period of time." He says the prison department established Valdez used excessive unnecessary force, grabbing the inmate by the neck and throwing him to the ground.
"There was nothing to reflect the existence of any physical resistance by the inmate justifying the use of force," according to the decision.
Finally, the decision states Valdez's report on the incident "is clearly contradicted by the contents of the video of the incident."
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Valdez was fired by prison officials who charged him with violating employee rules and procedures, dishonesty, an act of violence including conduct intimidating, assault or battery and knowingly providing false, misleading statements in reporting the performance of his official duties.
The decision this week upholds his termination.