A Sheriff's Deputy with the Erie County Sheriff's Office is under scrutiny after a Sheriffs Department video allegedly shows the deputy kicking an inmate in the face while he was on the floor and handcuffed inside of the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden.

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Back on February 24, 2022, Erie County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Piwowarczyk was being investigated for the alleged kicking incident. After reports that the inmate was kicked in the face while handcuffed and being held down on the floor by other deputies, officials inside the ECSO opened an internal investigation.

The Buffalo News has reported that the inmate, 19-year-old Nathaniel Oyoyo, was screaming in pain with blood dripping from his left eye while he was sprawled out in the floor. In the report, Oyoyo was yelling about him being kicked in the mouth while more than a dozen other deputies were surrounding him and watching.

Reports from the initial incident describe a chaotic scene with Oyoyo on the floor of the correctional facility.

  • Oyoyo was originally arrested on burglary and robbery charges and was becoming aggressive with deputies when they were trying to do fingerprinting,
  • after a while Oyoyo was taken down to the ground, while on the ground Oyoyo was swearing and accusing deputies of assaulting him,
  • in the background you can hear a deputy trying to calm things down, until Oyoyo spit in the direction of Piwowarczyk's leg.
  • Piwowarczyk nearly immediately swing his leg toward the face of Oyoyo

The video doesn't show his foot making contact, but Oyoyo almost immediately begins lamenting being kicked in the face and mouth.

Erie County Sherrif John Garcia previously said the investigation found into this incident no wrongdoing by Deputy Piwowarczyk, but the deputy was suspended from duty for three months with pay while the investigation was underway. Further investigation by the Erie County District Attorney's office also found there was not enough evidence the charge Piwowarczyk with a crime and they declined to prosecute.

Once this situation became to come to light, the Buffalo News filed a Freedom of Information request to the Sheriff's Office to obtain a copy of the video. Sheriff Garcia refused to provide the video, citing privacy concerns of the inmate who was kicked. The News then filed a lawsuit against the ESCO asking a judge to force the Sheriff to provide the video.

New York State Supreme Court Judge Catherine Nugent Panepinto ordered the ECSO to turn over the videos, but it seemed like the Sheriff's Office was not going to comply, until they finally decided to obey the Judge's order and release the video.

The Erie County Sheriff's Office released the video to the Buffalo News and we have it posted below.

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