Security footage from a Georgia jail shows a black detainee being beaten by five jailers at once.
An attorney for the detainee, Jarrett Hobbs, 41, released video taken inside the Camden County Jail on Monday, which led the sheriff to announce that he had opened an internal investigation.
Sheriff Jim Proctor said he had reviewed the footage with members of his command and ordered an investigation to be launched “immediately.” The office did not share any further information about the attack.
But Harry Daniels, a civil rights attorney, said authorities should pursue criminal charges against the sheriff’s deputies who surrounded Hobbs before repeatedly hitting him in the head and neck.
Daniels said: “It is undeniable that the jailers approached Mr. Hobbs and assaulted him, hitting him multiple times on the back of the head, kneeing him in the head and dragging him from his cell.”
‘This is a brutal beating, a brutal attack.’
A spokesman for the office declined to say whether the deputies are still on duty today.
It’s unclear what exactly happened in Hobbs’ cell, but federal court records say jailers entered the cell because the detainee was repeatedly kicking his door and refusing to stop despite being ordered to.
In the video, Hobbs can be seen standing alone in his cell by the door, then turning to the bed and picking up two objects. The objects, her attorney said, were a sheet of paper and a sandwich.
A guard then rushed over and grabbed Hobbs by the neck, attempting to push him into a corner. Four additional guards then follow.
As the guards try to hold Hobbs by the wrists, one of them begins to hit the detainee on the back of the head and neck. Other guards also throw punches.
Hobbs was originally booked for drug possession and traffic violations on September 3. He left custody of the Camden County Jail on September 30.
Daniels pointedly pondered why the bureau had not opened an investigation sooner. The violent confrontation occurred more than two months ago and Hobbs was charged with fighting with officers the day it occurred.
It was Daniels who released the images for the public to see.
Records show Hobbs, who lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, was arrested Sept. 3 in coastal Camden County. He was booked on charges of speeding, driving on a suspended or revoked license and possession of an illegal drug.
Hobbs was on probation in North Carolina for a 2014 criminal conviction. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
Hobbs is now back in North Carolina, where he was on probation on a 2014 count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
According to the Associated Press, a second shot from a camera outside the cell shows jailers dragging the criminal through the cell door and throwing him against a wall. The fight lasts around a minute in total.
After the altercation, Hobbs was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, and obstruction of law enforcement officers.
A judge’s order dated October 20 of this year said a probation officer testified that Hobbs had “hit one officer in the face while punching another officer on the side of the head.”
“A deputy suffered a broken hand as a result of the incident,” the order read.
Daniels said the guard with the broken hand was hurt when he hit a wall while punching Hobbs.
A North Carolina federal judge revoked Hobbs’ probation on November 7 after it became clear he had violated the terms of his supervised release. The court then dismissed the alleged probation violations based on the fight with officers that occurred in Georgia, though it did not clarify why.
Currently, Hobbs remains in custody in North Carolina.
Daniels said the “physical injuries” her client sustained “have healed to the best of their ability.”
But mentally, no. He thought he was going to die,’ she added.