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MCSO releases video showing moments before and after Deputy Durm was killed by inmate he was transporting

Deputy Durm Surveillance Video.jpg
Posted at 4:06 PM, Aug 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 18:26:55-04

INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Sheriff's Office released video on Wednesday showing the events leading up to and after Deputy John Durm was killed by an inmate he was transporting.

Sheriff Kerry Forestal shared the video during a press conference on Wednesday, which was streamed on social media by multiple news outlets including WRTV. Following the press conference, an order was issued to the sheriff's department barring them from releasing the video to the media.

Forestal also announced personnel, policy and procedures that were being updated in response to Durm's death.

Orlando Mitchell, 34, is charged with murder, robbery and escape in connection with the events of July 10, 2023. The prosecutor's office is seeking the death penalty against Mitchell, who was already facing murder charges in the death of his ex-girlfriend Krystal Walton in September 2022.

Forestal addressed staffing issues and other public concerns that have come to light since Durm's death, but said those were not the problem on the day he died.

"It wasn't understaffing that killed John Durm. It was not faulty equipment that killed him, nor was it complacency — it was Orlando Mitchell," Forestal said. "And for that, I believe Orlando Mitchell will be held responsible."

The edited video shared by the sheriff's office showed Mitchell being transported to the van that would take him to his appointment and locked into the back.

After being transported to the hospital, Mitchell was placed in a waiting room for roughly 15 minutes. He can be seen on the video trying to manipulate his shackles.

Although the sheriff's department said they remained secure.

Forestal said Durm had transported Mitchell before and that all of his restraints were properly secured.

The video shows the MCSO transport van arriving back at the detention center and Durm walking to the back to let Mitchell out through the back doors. The video stops just as Mitchell steps out of the van, maneuvering behind Durm and wrapping the chain around his neck.

According to the Forestal, the struggle between Mitchell and Durm lasted approximately two minutes before.

The video picked back up as Mitchell was unlocking his chains and handcuffs.

Additional videos shared by the sheriff's office were from a Cumberland Police Department Officer's cruiser video. The sheriff said the officer saw Durm lying on the ground moments after the altercation and began radioing for help.

"He appears 10-0," the Cumberland officer can be heard saying in the video.

The clip, which lasted a total of 14 minutes, also showed Mitchell drive the van through a gate before crashing.

Mitchell was taken into custody and to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Sheriff Forestal said deputies Steve Monday and Danielle Knight who were also returning to the jail with prisoners were fired following the incident.

He said a decision hasn't been made regarding the civilian employees who were supposed to be watching the cameras at the time.

Forestal said staffing and transport policies were broken, but said that shouldn't have cost Durm his life.

"Two people should have accompanied him to Eskenzai when he was charged with murder," said Sheriff Forestal.

When asked why two deputies weren't with him, the sheriff pointed to under staffing as the reason.

MCSO jail policies also state inmates should be handcuffed behind their back.

Mitchell, was cuffed in the front.

You can watch the full video shared by the sheriff's office below. Viewer discretion is advised.

Video released by MCSO shows moments before and after Deputy Durm killed by inmate

"Immediate remedial measures provide additional belly chain training, conduct complacent training soon and renewing request for cameras for ADC transport wagons," said Forestal.

Nearly 200 inmates are in custody at the Marion County Jail for murder. The sheriff's office made changes that went into effect in July to better protect the safety of deputies during transports including never being alone or unarmed.

Inmates needing offsite medical services are now required to be evaluated by the jails contracted physician beforehand and must have documented reasons why the procedure can't be provided at the jail.

The department is short around 150 deputies. It also has around 200 inmates in the jail for murder.

The sheriff says he is looking into changing their jumpsuits from orange to red to serve as a reminder of their murder charge.