Updated 03/12/2013 09:30 PM
Corrections officer caught on camera assaulting inmate
Fifteen year veteran of the Albany County Sheriff's Department, Officer Craig Strizzi, was arrested and charged with assaulting an inmate. Strizzi claims the attack was provoked. Our Karen Tararache reviewed the security footage from Albany Correctional to see for herself who did what.
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ALBANY, N.Y.-- "The video speaks for itself. We didn’t need to sit down and talk to human resources and draw this out," Sheriff Craig Apple said.
The security footage from Albany County Correctional shows inmate Walter Cleveland being escorted back into the facility by Officer Craig Strizzi. At first glance, it's hard to tell what happens at the top portion of your screen but if you look again…
"He had his hands down by his side, more towards his backside and once he exited, the recreation door had closed and the officer slammed him up against the wall. Two other inmates joined in and the three of them roughed him up and beat him up," Apple added.
Officer Strizzi's sworn deposition offers a different version. He claims it was inmate Cleveland who swung at him with his left elbow before throwing him up against the wall.
"Our office of professional standards happened to be in the building already so they went up and reviewed the incident on the camera and it was clearly not the way that the officer had reported the incident."
Inmate Cleveland, who was arrested last year on rape charges, stated Strizzi and the two other inmates punched him, calling him a child molester. He added he never raised his hands in response.
Sheriff Apple told YNN, "The officer has been suspended and it’s a matter of taking its course through the court system at this point."
As for the other two inmates, he said, "It was pretty apparent there was a bit of conspiracy among the three of them. One inmate in particular who was on the phone was just making fake phone calls basically, laying and waiting for his opportunity to strike."
Criminal charges will be brought against them this week.