Video Shows Muscogee Jail Inmate Beaten and Stunned With Taser 10 Times

Cortney Jackson, a former Muscogee County Jail inmate suing city officials for cruel and unusual punishment, was staying in an area for mentally ill inmates when he was beaten and stunned repeatedly with a Taser by correctional employees, according to records from the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office.

The Ledger-Enquirer obtained video cam footage, as well as incident and use-of-force reports, of the June 29, 2016 incident through an open records request submitted to City Attorney Clifton Fay.

Jackson, who had been at the jail for two years, was released unexpectedly Thursday when the video was made public, according to his attorneys.

On Monday, Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins and Assistant District Attorney James Barrow said Jackson was released on bond, but they weren’t sure who posted it.

The video footage shows correctional officers and deputies grabbing and punching Jackson frantically while he was naked in HD Cell 7, reserved for inmates on suicide watch. They stunned him 10 times, the Taser making loud clicking sounds with each surge of energy.

At one point, correctional employees put a white spit bag over Jackson’s head, as he sat on the floor seemingly in a daze, his mouth oozing with blood. A tooth was knocked out, according to reports from the Sheriff’s Office, and officers restrained him using leg shackles and handcuffs during the altercation.

On July 18, 2016, Major T. Culpepper described the use of force as extensive and “outside of policy under most circumstances.” He recommended better training for staff to avoid such situations in the future.

Though the incident occurred before she was in office, Sheriff Donna Tompkins said Friday that video cam footage doesn’t always capture the full story and the public needs to be careful drawing conclusions about the incident.

In the video footage obtained by the Ledger-Enquirer, Jackson appears fairly subdued and putting up little resistance, except during moments when his body stiffened or he tried pulling away as guards attempted to stun him.

But in their reports regarding the incident, officers and deputies wrote that Jackson had flooded his cell via the toilet multiple times that week, and he had been removed so his cell could be cleaned. Once escorted back to HD-7, Jackson refused to comply with verbal commands and became aggressive and violent towards the officers, according to official reports.

“Inmate Jackson then stepped up onto the bench in the cell and was beginning to try and fight all the officers in the cell,” wrote Deputy Brian Davis in his report. Officers managed to get Jackson off the bench and on his knees, removing handcuffs from both hands. But he continued to resist, according to Davis’ account of the incident, and more officers were called in.

When Davis and another officer tried to leave the cell, Jackson grabbed them by their shirts, according to the report. Multiple verbal commands were given and he would not comply.

“At this point, several closed fist strikes were delivered to inmate Jackson’s head, face abdomen and ribs,” Davis wrote. “Due to his continuous combative and aggressive behavior, C.O. Gilliland attempted to drive stun using the CEW (Controlled Electronic Weapon). The CEW had no effect and the subject, as he attempted to grab the CEW from C.O. Gilliland. A second CEW and all available officers were called for.

“… Once multiple officers and another CEW arrived, they entered the cell and at that point a second CEW was deployed at this time,” Davis continued. “Contact was made and he eventually let go of me. Once he released his grip, I was then pulled from the cell by other officers as others moved into the cell to restrain him.”

The footage the Ledger-Enquirer received didn’t show Jackson being combative. It started with him already subdued by officers.

Eventually, the officers and deputies placed Jackson in a restraint chair where he was given a shot and then taken to the jail clinic for observation. Sixty-one minutes later he went back to his cell.

Jackson’s family and attorneys said the officers and deputies gave him Haldol, a medicine for schizophrenia.

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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