NBC Charlotte's I-Team sees new video of employee striking York inmate

NBC Charlotte's I-Team sees new video of employee striking York inmate

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by STUART WATSON / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @stuartwcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on November 14, 2013 at 8:11 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 15 at 12:40 AM

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- NBC Charlotte’s I-Team is seeing more video of an inmate’s death in York County.
 
In previously seen video, a corrections officer punched Joshua Grose 12 times. The inmate later died, but according to the coroner, it was probably not because of the assault.
 
The sheriff won’t publicly release the video, but NBC Charlotte’s Stuart Watson watched a portion of it showing zoomed in angles three times. The video shows the Grose being forced into a restraint chair, where another inmate died previously.
 
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant showed hours of the wide shots earlier in the week, but Stuart went back to watch again.
 
Mike Billioni, an employee at the jail, blew the whistle. He told his wife, an NBC Charlotte employee.
 
“We were held to high standards of integrity, and this, I felt, did not meet the high standards of integrity,” he said.
 
Mike already saw what Stuart saw upon returning to York.
 
“He was punching down, but then, he was standing over on top of him.” -- MB
“Was he being held down?” --SW
“There were several people around him working to get him in the chair.” --MB

 
Grose was violently mentally ill. He ran over his own stepmother and a neighbor woman, killing them.
 
He was naked and hitting his head on a cell wall and a toilet when six officers tried to strap him in the restraint chair. That’s when he began planking, stiffening his body to resist.
 
“He looked like he was completely locked out. He was resisting going in the chair,” Billioni said.
 
Billioni showed NBC Charlotte his training manual from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. It calls for hand strikes for “high levels of resistance.”
 
“It may be a reason to escalate force, but then again – striking him 12 times…” Billioni said.
 
The sheriff says the resistance justified the punches. The sheriff took no action against the officer who punched Grose, but fired Billioni for blowing the whistle.
 
“I’m sorry that I lost my job. I loved my job. Working for Bruce Bryant was an honor, and I don’t’ have any ill will toward him,” he said.
 
An instructor with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy told NBC Charlotte Thursday that an inmate who continues to resist the restraint chair could justify what they call “hand strikes.”
 
Jailers also used a stun gun on Grose three times.
 
SLED continues to investigate the death.

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