Monroe County Corrections officer fired after using excessive force

BLOOMINGTON — A Monroe County corrections officer was fired after using excessive force.

On Jan. 31, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says an inmate became belligerent, combative, and threatened officers.

The incident started when inmate Marcus Ford complained of health issues and was examined by the jail’s nurse on-site. The nurse recommended he should be transferred to a medical observation cell.

After officers asked Ford to walk from a holding cell to the observation cell several times, he refused and threatened them with violence.

At one point, Sheriff Ruben Martè said the inmate told an officer “as soon as you touch me, I’m [going to] knock your teeth out.”

Officer James Mitchell suffered a busted lip in a physical struggle with Ford. Mitchell then threw multiple punches at Ford’s head causing him to suffer a fractured nose and fractured orbital bone.

After the mandatory use of force review was conducted by Jail Commander Kyle Gibbons, a certified use of force expert, Sheriff Ruben Martè ordered an internal investigation and asked the Indiana State Police to conduct an independent investigation to determine whether any crimes were committed during the struggle.

After completing the internal investigation, Sheriff Martè fired Officer Mitchell, saying he failed to “follow the high standards of the office that require de-escalation whenever possible.”

The Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office determined no criminal charges would be filed in the case.