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A 58-year-old Elyria, Ohio, man has filed a $40 million lawsuit against Lorain County (OH) and the city of Elyria employees, alleging police brutality that resulted in a severe spinal injury. The incident occurred at the Lorain County Jail in May 2023, where Jeffrey Fry was reportedly "brutalized" during booking, leading to chronic pain and limited use of his arms. Fry claims that Corrections Officer Brian Tellier was responsible for the injuries by forcefully throwing Fry against a wall, causing a permanent spinal cord injury.


The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Cleveland, names several defendants, including Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti, Tellier, other corrections officers, jail medical workers, the Elyria Police Department, and Officer Ali Sabeiha. It alleges violations of Fry's civil rights, excessive force, medical negligence, and other charges. Fry, now living in a nursing home, expressed his distress and inability to perform daily activities during a news conference.


The incident, captured on video, appears to show Tellier aggressively handling Fry, leading to his injuries. Despite initial claims by Sheriff Stammitti that Tellier did not intentionally harm Fry, an internal investigation contradicted this, finding Tellier's actions inappropriate and excessive. The lawsuit also criticizes the response of medical staff and other officers present, including Officer Sabeiha, who allegedly witnessed the incident but did not intervene.

Video footage shows officers moving Fry to an adjacent area to await medical assistance. Upon the arrival of the EMT team, Fry was lifted onto the stretcher by Tellier along with other officers. According to Fry’s attorney, there was a lack of effort to secure Fry's neck or back during this process, and the manner in which he was handled was excessively rough, potentially exacerbating his existing injuries. 

The case adds to a series of federal lawsuits against the Lorain County Jail and its staff, highlighting concerns over the treatment of inmates and police conduct. The FBI is also investigating Fry's treatment in jail, reflecting growing scrutiny over law enforcement practices in Lorain County.

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