This week, the hearing continued for a former Isabella County Corrections officer accused of pushing and hurting an inmate. Attorney John Freeman is representing the accused officer.
As reported by The Morning Sun, the Monday, March 7th hearing was dominated by Freeman’s questioning of the man who was the jail administrator at the time. Questions centered around the defense that the accused action’s were justified and that the harm suffered by the alleged victim was in part the result of the man’s pants falling down.
Other themes of the questioning included whether the accused was targeted selectively and the internal investigation was rushed.
This was the second day of the hearing after kicking off in November. The next date is Friday, March 11th, at which point the judge will decide whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
An Officer Charged With Aggravated Assault And Misconduct In Office
ABC News 12 in Flint initially reported on the case, which has continued to attract media attention. 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. Cluley faces the following charges:
- One count of aggravated assault, a misdemeanor
- Two counts of misconduct in office, a felony
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 a 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.