GRADY COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A former Grady County Detention Center sergeant pleaded guilty to using unreasonable force against an inmate.

Johnnie Drewery, 27, participated in changing an inmate into a suicide smock and moving the inmate into a first floor holding cell on July 11, 2020.

The inmate spit on Drewery as the cell door was closing. Drewery screamed for the cell door to be reopened, according to court documents.

Drewery rushed into the cell and beat the inmate, striking with his hands and knee. The inmate suffered a fractured rib, according to U.S. Attorney Robert Troester, who serves the Western District of Oklahoma.

“The defendant is being held accountable for using excessive force against a man inside of a jail cell who was not posing a threat at the time he was assaulted,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to investigate and prosecute law enforcement officials who deprive individuals of their Constitutional rights by using excessive force against them.”

Drewery betrayed the public trust, Troester said.

“Law enforcement and corrections officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” Troester said. “But when an officer betrays the badge and the public’s trust, as the defendant did here, they dishonor their profession and endanger the safety of their fellow officers. I commend the OKC FBI Field Office and the entire prosecution team for their diligent work on this case.”

Using unreasonable force against an inmate carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The court will set sentencing in approximately 90 days.