Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'

Chris | InformationLiberation
Aug. 06, 2012

40-year-old Rico Palomino, a 12 year veteran corrections officer at the Cook County Jail in Illinois, claimed in his incident report an inmate "turned around abruptly" and grabbed his shirt, for which he had no choice but to act in self defense by striking the inmate with his open palm to "create a safe distance between himself and the detainee," reports NBC Chicago. The trouble is, the incident was caught on tape, and rather than show the officer was responding to being grabbed suddenly, it shows the cop casually walking up to an inmate and suddenly sucker punching him viciously in the face leaving him bleeding profusely from the mouth.

Here's how the incident went down:
Prosecutors said Palomino was working at a desk when an inmate walked by, asking Palomino where officers kept inventoried property because he wanted to get a phone number.

As the inmate continued to walk down a hallway, Palomino followed and told him to return to the lockup area.

"If you don't get back over here, I'm going to f--- you up," prosecutors alleged in a proffer.

A surveillance camera from the hallway recorded Palomino, eight inches taller and 100 pounds heavier than the inmate, striking the detainee, causing him to fall to the floor.

Prosecutors said the inmate was left bleeding from the mouth and required stitches.
The corrections officer is now being charged with a Class 3 felony, he is potentially facing 2-5 years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine. You have to wonder what the punishment would be if the shoe was on the other foot, not to mention if the officer's lies were simply accepted as fact.
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