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Sherrif's Deputy Arrested, Charged After Kicking Inmate In Head

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Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office
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A screen grab of video footage showing the moments before Sgt. Franklin kicks the inmate in the head. Video shows the inmate, who had been standing on the marks to the left, kick backward before being wrestled to the ground by deputies.

A Hamilton County sheriff's deputy is under arrest and charged with one count of assault for kicking an inmate in the head during an incident June 9.

Sgt. Jesse Franklin was indicted for misdemeanor assault. Video footage from the jail shows the incident which occurred while the inmate, Nick Ballachino, was being booked into the jail for disorderly conduct while intoxicated and obstructing official business, both misdemeanors.

Franklin faces up to six months if convicted.

A release from the county prosecutor's office says, "Ballachino became combative with the officers trying to process him. While the officers were trying to subdue him, Ballachino bit Franklin's left foot. Franklin was wearing work boots when this happened. Video from the Justice Center shows Franklin immediately kicking Ballachino one time in the head after he bit him."

Video released to the media shows Ballachino being subdued on the ground while his shoes and socks are removed. At one point he moves his head over Franklin's boot and appears to make a biting movement, after which Franklin kicks him.

The prosecutor's release says Ballachino was taken to University Hospital where he received five stitches above his left eye. He was treated and released back to the Justice Center.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil says Franklin has been suspended without pay and is proceeding with "a disciplinary process as required under the applicable collective bargaining agreement."

Neil describes Franklin as a 14-year veteran and a supervisor at the Justice Center.

"I am outraged and shocked by the egregious," Neil says. "These actions are inconsistent with our training and will not be tolerated under my watch."

"Not everyone has the temperament to be a police officer," says Prosecutor Joe Deters in the statement. "In this case, and as I have throughout my career, when I see criminal violations, I will pursue them according to the law."

Deters' office says since the charge is a misdemeanor, it will be handled by Cincinnati attorneys as they prosecute all misdemeanors that occur in the city limits."

Warning: This video was provided to WVXU by the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office and has not been edited or altered by WVXU. Some viewers may find the content graphic. The inmate in the video was treated at University Hospital and released back to the Justice Center.

https://vimeo.com/434806640">Hamilton County Justice Center Video - June 9, 2020 from https://vimeo.com/user104045927">Cincinnati Public Radio on Vimeo.