ST. LOUIS – A former employee of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department appeared in federal Monday and admitted to striking and injuring a jail inmate.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Edward Barber, 42, was working as a prisoner processing clerk at the St. Louis Justice Center on July 11, 2019, when the incident occurred.

An inmate struck another processing clerk and had to be restrained by a corrections officer, who deployed pepper spray. The inmate complied, was handcuffed, and then led back to a cell by Barber and a corrections officer.

Barber told the court that the inmate was uninjured when they went into the cell. Once in the cell, Barber said he “put his hands on (the inmate) and forced him to the ground,” causing the inmate to fracture his nose and orbital wall.

Barber pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, a civil rights charge.

Barber will be sentenced on July 6. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.