Video shows corrections officer drop transgender woman on her face in Baltimore corrections facility

A frame grab from security video provided by attorney Malcolm Ruff shows Amber Canter, in yellow, being held by a corrections officer in what Ruff says was an illegal chokehold.

(CNN)Video of a transgender woman being held in a chokehold by a Baltimore corrections officer, then dropped on her face and dragged, was released by her attorney as part of a civil lawsuit against the state and several of the officers allegedly involved.

Amber Canter was being held at the Baltimore City Central Booking & Intake Center when the incident happened in June 2019, her civil complaint says. Canter suffered bone fractures in her face, severe bruising to the left side of her forehead, internal bleeding behind her right eye and pneumocephalus​, and had to be taken to an intensive care unit, the complaint says.
The video was provided to CNN by Canter's attorney Malcolm Ruff. He said the video is from the Maryland Attorney General's Office, which represents the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (MDPSCS), the department in charge of the intake center. The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services declined to comment on the civil lawsuit to CNN.
Amber Canter was known at the facility for being a "persistent advocate for transgender inmate rights," her lawsuit says.
Canter first filed a lawsuit over the incident on her own in August 2019, Ruff told CNN. ​He and another attorney filed an amended complaint on November 30 ​this year. The amended complaint adds additional legal language and screenshots of the video.
Her lawsuit names Officer Zanel Santana as the officer who held her in the chokehold and dropped her. It also names Officer Uchenna Okeke and Sgt. Monyette Washington, along with the facility's security chief and warden, the secretary of Maryland's corrections department, and the state of Maryland. CNN has reached out to the Maryland governor, the state attorney general's office and the individual defendants named in the civil and criminal cases for comment.
Canter claims violations of her federal and state civil rights, as well as negligence and assault and battery. She is suing for a minimum of $75,000 in compensatory damages for each of 11 counts but is requesting that a jury ultimately decide both the total compensatory and punitive damages, Ruff said.
The lawsuit is in addition to a larger look by officials of the incident. Santana was charged with first-degree assault and two counts of misconduct in office in March of this year, a news release from the Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City shows. Washington and Okeke were charged with two counts of misconduct in office per person, they continued.
In addition to the alleged assault, the state's attorney also alleges the officers submitted internal reports that concealed details about the incident, such as the specific maneuvers used to restrain Canter and the extent of her injuries. They have not yet pleaded in their case as their court hearings keep getting delayed, Ruff said.
The attorneys for the defendants with criminal charges have not responded to CNN's request for comment.
At the time of the charges, MDPSCS Secretary Robert Green said in the state's attorney news release that their department "will not tolerate violence against inmates, just as we will not tolerate it against our staff."
"If the allegations are true, they represent behavior that tarnishes the badge of every correctional professional," he continued.
Canter, seen here in a selfie, suffered injuries so serious that she had to be taken to intensive care, her lawsuit says.
Canter's attorneys said in a statement to CNN they will not let ​her treatment "go unaddressed."
"We will not let this apparent hate crime, committed under the watch of the Maryland prison system, go unaddressed," Ruff and attorney William H. "Billy" Murphy Jr. said. "Amber has long fought for transgender rights and has vigorously complained about the state correctional system's mistreatment of her and other members of the LGBTQ inmate community."
"Such senseless brutality against the transgender community cannot and will not be tolerated, no matter where it occurs," they continued.

What precedes the video

Canter's lawsuit says that during her detention, Canter "became notoriously known by Central Booking correctional officers and staff as a persistent advocate and activist for transgender inmate rights," challenging the facility's policies and practices toward transgender inmates. Ruff told CNN that Canter was being housed with male inmates.
On June 14, 2019, according to Canter's complaint, a corrections officer told Canter they intended to transfer her to a different facility that day, and if she wasn't, then she would be given recreational time outside her cell.
A transgender woman placed in a men's prison after alleging abuse has been moved to a women's facility