Valdosta jail guard pleads responsible to violating inmate’s civil rights | Information

WASHINGTON – A Georgia correctional officer pleaded guilty to violating an inmate’s civil rights.

According to documents filed in connection with the confession of guilt, 33-year-old Jamal Scott, a law enforcement officer on duty at Valdosta State Prison, hit an inmate with his fist several times while the inmate was handcuffed and lying on the floor on December 29 , 2018. Specifically, Scott, along with Correctional Officer Brian Ford, Sgt. Patrick Sharpe, and other prison officers escorted the handcuffed inmate to an outdoor area on the prison grounds to show the inmate in retaliation for a previous argument between the inmate and a policewoman to attack.

Scott and Ford, following an instruction from their superior Sharpe, brought the inmate to the ground and hit him several times in the body. The inmate was handcuffed and yielding at the time of the attack.

Ford previously pleaded guilty on November 9, 2020 to a legal deprivation of rights over the color of the law over its role in the incident. Scott and his co-defendant Sharpe were indicted on December 11, 2020 on four counts.

“When Scott attacked this inmate, he was violating the inmate’s civil rights and betraying his oath of office as a correctional officer,” said Pam S. Karlan, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s civil rights division. “The Justice Department will continue to protect the civil rights of all persons and ensure that officials who abuse their power are held accountable.”

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“Harmful effects are felt in our community and beyond when a sworn officer violates the civil rights of a responsible person,” said acting US attorney Peter D. Leary for the Georgia Middle District. “Our office will work tirelessly to protect the civil rights of all people, and we will hold abusive officials responsible for breaking the laws they swore to abide by.”

“There is never a reason for a correctional officer to resort to violence that violates the constitutional rights of an inmate,” said special agent Chris Hacker of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office. “The FBI understands that prison work is stressful and dangerous work, and that the vast majority of the men and women who work in these facilities do their jobs honestly every day. When an officer violates the rights of the inmates in their care , it undermines public confidence in these important positions and damages the reputation of the hardworking officers who continue to serve. “

Scott faces a maximum legal sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000. A court hearing is not yet planned at this point in time.

This case has been investigated by the FBI and followed by trial lawyers Katherine G. DeVar and Nicole Raspa of the Civil Rights Division, with assistance from Criminal Chief Michael Solis of the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.

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