Durham detention officers fired, charged with assault
Posted December 7, 2015
Updated December 8, 2015
Durham, N.C. — Two Durham detention officers were fired from their positions last week after using unnecessary force to restrain a detainee, said the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.
“During a mandatory supervisory review of inmate non-compliance reports, the Command Staff at the Office of the Sheriff of Durham County’s Detention Facility determined that Officer Anita Louise Alston and Officer Rachel L. Smith utilized force that appeared to be beyond the amount reasonably necessary to restrain a detainee,” the Durham County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The two officers were terminated from the sheriff’s office and, following a separate investigation, were charged with simple assault and misdemeanor obstruction of justice.
“Detention officers work in a very difficult and complex environment. Many times they work in a pod and supervise 50 or more persons, some of whom are hostile and suffer from mental difficulties. It is important that detention officers follow sheriff’s office guidelines when interacting with inmate population,” Sheriff Michael Andrews said in a statement.