SAVANNAH, GA. (AP) — Security video from a Georgia prison shows five deputies entering a man’s cell before the detainee was pushed against a wall by guards and repeatedly beaten in the head and neck. is shown.
Detainee attorney Jarrett Hobbs, 41, released the video on Monday. Civil rights attorney Harry Daniels said authorities have held criminal charges against a Camden County sheriff’s deputy who flocked to Hobbes, who is black, after he was charged with traffic violations and drug possession on Sept. 3. He said it should be pursued.
“It is undeniable that Mr. Hobbes was approached by guards, beaten, beaten repeatedly in the back of the head, beaten with a knee on the head, and dragged out of his cell,” Daniels said. “This is a brutal beating, a brutal attack.”
Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor’s office said in a statement Monday that the sheriff had reviewed the video with members of the commanding staff and ordered an internal investigation to “begin immediately.” He did not disclose details, including the race of the prison officer.
Daniels wondered why nothing had happened sooner. The confrontation between Hobbes and his jailer occurred more than two months before him, and Hobbes was indicted for fighting his agent that same day.
Sheriff’s spokesman Capt. Larry Bruce declined to answer further questions, including whether the guards involved were still on duty.
Hobbes of Greensboro, North Carolina, was arrested on September 3 in Camden County, on the coast about 100 miles (160 km) south of Savannah, according to prison records. He was initially charged with speeding, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and possession of illegal drugs.
The sheriff’s office has not released details about what happened in Hobbes’ cell. However, according to federal court records in North Carolina, where Hobbes was on probation following a 2014 federal criminal conviction, a security guard entered Hobbes’ cell because he repeatedly opened the cell door. It was because he kicked and refused the order to stop.
The video shows Hobbes alone in his cell standing by the door, facing his bed and picking up two objects. His lawyer said they were a piece of paper and a sandwich. A guard bursts into the cell, grabs Hobbes by the neck and tries to force him into a corner. Four others come in behind him.
When the guards try to grab Hobbes by the wrist, one of them begins hitting him on the back of the head and neck. The video shows at least two of his security guards throwing punches. A second video of him from cameras outside the cell shows the guards dragging Hobbes through the open door and throwing him against the wall. The agent quickly raises his right knee and leg several times, but it’s unclear if he attacked Hobbes, who struggled until Hobbes, who was out of camera frame, appeared pinned to the ground. continues. The entire confrontation lasts about a minute.
Prison records show Hobbes was subsequently charged with aggravated battery, simple assault, and obstruction of law enforcement officers.
The video released by Daniels has no audio. Lawyers said he had a copy with audio, but he refused to share it.
Federal officials will investigate the indictment against Georgia’s Hobbes to determine whether he violated probation stemming from a 2014 guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, according to court records. did.
According to a judge’s order dated Oct. 20, probation officers said Hobbes testified that he punched “one agent in the face and another in the side of the head.” One lieutenant suffered a bruise on his eye and a broken hand as a result of the incident. Also, Hobbes was hit in the head and said the probation officer “didn’t know the exact sequence of events.”
The extent to which Hobbes fought the guards is unclear from the video record. For most of the video, Hobbes is obscured by surrounding guards or out of frame.
His attorney, Daniels, said Hobbes would have been justified in fighting back against a guard who illegally attacked him. He said he hit the wall when he swung and injured himself.
A federal judge in North Carolina revoked Hobbs’ probation on November 7 after finding he had violated the terms of his supervised release, according to court records. However, the court dismissed the alleged probation violation based on a dispute with a Georgia prison officer. Court records do not state why.
Daniels said he obtained the video after it was filed as evidence in a federal probation suit. He said Hobbes remains in custody in North Carolina.
“I healed the wounds on my body as best I could,” Daniels said.