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Second Oklahoma County jail guard accused of beating inmate

Michael Coleman, 49, a detention officer at the Oklahoma County jail, was arrested Monday, accused of beating an inmate with a set of metal keys.
by Andrew Knittle Published: September 2, 2012

A 49-year-old former Oklahoma County jail detention officer was arrested Monday, accused of beating an inmate with a set of metal keys, court records show.

The incident is the second such case in the past two months at the county jail.

A probable cause affidavit filed in the case by an Oklahoma County sheriff's investigator recommends former detention officer Michael Coleman, of Oklahoma City, be charged with one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of possession of contraband in a penal institution.

Court records state Coleman “used his fists and a set of metal keys to strike” inmate Shawn Rose, 19, who is at the jail awaiting transfer to a state prison.

Coleman also is charged with possessing contraband because investigators found a working cellphone and a seven-inch folding knife when they searched him after his arrest, documents state.

Rose, who is doing time for second-degree burglary out of Adair County, wrote a letter to The Oklahoman after the incident with Coleman describing his version of events.

Rose said his conflict with Coleman arose when he asked the former detention officer why he and the other Corrections Department inmates weren't being given their “recreation” time.

Rose said in the letter that Coleman refused to allow the inmates out “because he didn't want to.”

“So I stepped to the side of my cell … and said, ‘Then call a sergeant or a lieutenant so I can speak to them,” Rose wrote. “He told me he ain't calling no one … and out of nowhere he hit me with his sight-check wand.”

Rose described the wand as “a piece of metal and plastic … that they use to do (head) count on the doors here.”

Rose suffered cuts to left ear and had to be treated by the jail's medical staff, he said in the letter. He said an investigator photographed his injuries, and that he was told by jail staff that a video of the incident was in their possession.

The inmate said he is now seeking “a good lawyer.” He said jail staff told him to hire an attorney.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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