By Jamiel Lynch, CNN, Nov 14, 2022
An attorney for a North Carolina man is calling for a criminal investigation into why his client, a 41-year-old Black man, was beaten while in custody at the Camden County, Georgia, Detention Center in September.
In a news release, civil rights attorney Harry Daniels says his client Jarrett Hobbs was "mercilessly" beaten by officers at the detention center.
Video provided to CNN by Daniels shows Hobbs alone in a cell at the detention center. In the video five officers can be seen entering Hobbs' cell, and one grabs Hobbs at his neck. During a struggle inside the cell, at least four of the officers can be seen wrestling with Hobbs, some of the officers hitting him in the head. A second video released by his attorneys shows Hobbs being pulled out of the cell and officers can be seen wrestling him to the ground. The video appears to show at least one officer kicking Hobbs. Four of the five officers appear to be White; the other appears to be Black.
Neither video provided by Daniels has audio, and it's not clear what happened prior to what is seen on the videos.
"This video is undeniable and the deputies' actions are inexcusable," Daniels said in the release.
Daniels tells CNN there is a third video from a different angle, which includes audio of the altercation. Daniels said they are not releasing that video at this time, and though it does not show the altercation, you can hear the interaction between Hobbs and the officers.
In the release, Daniels said Hobbs was suffering a psychological episode at the jail and asked to be placed in protective custody.
In a statement, the Camden County Sheriff's Office said, "Sheriff [Jim] Proctor has ordered an internal investigation of the incident to begin immediately. This investigation will include all recorded video from the time the inmate entered the facility on September 3rd, 2022 until his release on September 30th, 2022. If deemed necessary an additional agency will assist with the investigation."
"Internal investigations involve reviewing of videos, questioning of witnesses, and documentation of evidence recovered which takes time, and not completed overnight," the statement added. It did not release the names of the officers involved. CNN contacted the sheriff's office for more details but did not receive a response.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation also announced Tuesday it will conduct an "independent & thorough investigation" of the incident following a request from Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Keith Higgins, the agency said on Twitter.
"Once the investigation is complete, we will provide the file to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office," the GBI said.