Heartbreaking video shows the violence teens face at detention center

For any parent, the video obtained by the FOX 8 I-Team last Dec. 17 is hard to watch. 

It’s easy to imagine your own child under the pummel of fists and bodies. Listening to the mother of a locked up teen being told about the chaotic fight for the first time is absolutely gut wrenching. 

“I just hope my son is OK. Like, this is my first time hearing anything about this. It should be no way I should be receiving a phone call from you and not them,” she told FOX. 

Unfortunately, incidents of violence at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center have become increasingly common. 

Back in October, Fox released a video of a standoff inside the center when a resident took an office worker hostage.

A manager at the center was recently terminated for “using handcuffs like brass knuckles” while throwing punches at a teen resident, Fox reported.

A riot last August caused $20,000 in damage.

Poor staffing, lack of training are a dangerous mix

We hate to say we told you so — but this is exactly what we said would happen.

When administration officials walked away from the bargaining table and sought legal assistance from its “Sister” Court, the General Division of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, we knew the center’s young residents would ultimately be the ones who would suffer. 

Violent outbreaks are the direct result of poor staffing and lack of training that’s inevitable when a court removes union representation. 

“It’s very dangerous to be working there. They’ve gotten it so messed up now. Have to be a total overhaul and reset to restart everything,” a detention center officer told the I-Team at Fox. 

An administration desperate to whitewash the violence 

Ask the administration, and they’ll tell you there’s nothing to see here. Here’s what they have to say in a statement to Fox: 

“The Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court is investigating the incident of 12/11/2021. This investigation is to ensure that proper procedure was followed. The court is in the process of reviewing all pertinent information available. Our initial investigation has shown that the incident was not a result of staffing levels, and no youth were injured or at risk at any time. When the investigation is complete, it will be made available.”

No “youth were injured or at risk at any time?” Anyone who’s seen the video might disagree.

The young residents of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center deserve protection. The center needs well trained staff in sufficient numbers to keep our kids safe.

Sign the petition found at the bottom of our homepage. Tell the Court it needs better staffing and employee training to keep our kids safe.