Body cam video has surfaced of a black man being beaten and tased 10 times by correctional officers and deputies at the Muscogee County Jail in Georgia on June 29, 2016.
The Ledger-Enquirer obtained video footage of Cortney Jackson being brutalized and the use-of-force reports via an open records request.
Jackson was released unexpectedly on bond on March 1 — after two years of incarceration — the same day the video was made public.
The video shows correctional officers and deputies punching Jackson who was naked in a cell for inmates on suicide watch. They used a Taser on Jackson 10 times, and put a white spit bag over his head as he sat on the floor with his mouth oozing with blood.
Officers also restrained the unarmed man with leg shackles and handcuffs, according to Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office records.
The incident occurred before Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins was in office, but Tompkins claimed the video cam footage doesn’t always show the full story (even though people are convicted and jailed on far less).
According to the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, officers and deputies said Jackson had flooded his cell multiple times that week, and had been removed so his cell could be cleaned.
The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office claims Jackson was returned to his cell, but grabbed the officers’ shirts and refused to release them.
Jackson allegedly became aggressive and violent towards the officers, however, the video does not show Jackson being aggressive or violent.
Jackson was eventually out in a restraint chair, given a shot (Haldol, a medicine for schizophrenia) and taken to the jail clinic for observation. He was returned to his jail 61 minutes later, according to the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office.
Jackson’s sister, Chasity Lee, sent a letter to then-Sheriff John Darr and other officials on July 5, 2016:
… No one has seen him since an altercation that happened on Saturday, June 25th. A worker with the NAACP has went to the jail to see him, with permission from Sheriff Darr and he was denied the visit. I am asking you to please help my brother and stop the attacks that is inflicted on him by jail guards.
Also, I want to know why a doctor introduces such strong psychotic drugs to my brother without knowing his health history. My mother and I are also asking to visit Cortney. The doctor stated he has not spoken since the altercation date listed above. We are in need of help and beg you to please help us, this has already gotten worse.
The family’s lawyer, Megan Garcia, issued a comment to the Ledger-Enquirer on March 5:
They’re heartbroken and devastated. They’re upset with the changes in Cortney’s personality. He’s never going to be the same, and they don’t want anyone to experience what he had to experience. They, obviously, want justice.
The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office website says Jackson was arrested Feb. 2, 2016, and charged with obstruction of a law enforcement officer, theft by receiving stolen property and pedestrian darting into traffic.
Jackson’s lawyer Mark Shelnutt filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in February 2018 for the “deprivation of rights guaranteed by the Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.”