This week, ABC News 12 in Flint reported on a case involving an Isabella County corrections officer who has been charged with two felonies and aggravated assault of an inmate in April of last year. The officer is represented by attorney John Freeman.
The officer, Christopher Cluley, allegedly pushed an inmate, causing the inmate to suffer a serious injury. The allegations further state that Cluley did not get medical attention for the injured inmate, and later lied about the incident. In addition to aggravated assault, Cluley is charged with two common law offenses.
Freeman says, “We 100 percent dispute the accuracy of the allegations,” citing the officer’s longstanding career in law enforcement.
At a time when law enforcement officers are under the magnifying glass, it comes as no surprise that this case is generating media attention. However, media attention adds a layer of complexity to a criminal defense case. In these days of social media, news can spread quickly and become distorted. Can the jury be shielded from coverage of the case? Over the course of his 28-plus year career, John Freeman has handled many high profile cases in state and federal court. He is experienced in dealing with media attention.
Further, the fact that attorney Freeman is trusted by members of law enforcement when they find themselves on the other side of the criminal justice system speaks to his reputation. In this case, the prosecution has dredged up past incidents from the officer’s lengthy career, pointing out an situation in 2008 in which the officer was wrongly accused of using excessive force on an inmate. Freeman points out that Cluley was vindicated in that incident and got his job back.
More information will be provided as the case progresses.