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Georgia Cops Arrested Over Savage Jail Beating of Black Man

Three Camden County, Georgia, cops were charged with battery and violating their oath of office on Tuesday after an explosive video unveiled the vicious beating of a Black jail inmate named Jarrett Hobbs.

Camden County Corporal Correction Officer Mason Garrick and Camden County Deputies Ryan Biegel and Braxton Massey were arrested and jailed at the same facility where they used to work—the Camden County Safety Complex. Legal representatives of the three men could not be immediately identified.

Last week, three videos were released showing the brutal beating of Hobbs, 41, by Camden County Sheriff’s Office employees. In September, Hobbs was booked into the jail, where he was placed in an isolation cell, after being arrested for speeding, driving with a suspended license and possession of a controlled substance, according to local news outlet CBS 47.

The first two videos released by Hobbs’ legal team showed five people enter a cell where he was sitting, grab his face and neck, and start raining down blows before dragging him outside to continue. Outside the cell, at least one man appeared to punch Hobbs while also kicking him on the floor.

Later, the legal team released audio depicting screams of agony during the incident.

“I’ll break your fucking thumb if you don’t let go!” a voice, ascribed by Hobbs’ legal team to a sheriff’s deputy, could be heard yelling.

Two other employees at the facility were disciplined but not subject to criminal charges, FirstCoastNews reported.

Prior to the arrest, Hobbs was interviewed while incarcerated in North Carolina as part of the investigation, officials said.

At the press conference Tuesday, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Director Michael Register thanked Sheriff Jim Proctor and his department for their “full cooperation” in the investigation. But lawyers for Hobbs and his family reiterated their allegations that this was no isolated incident.

“We want to thank the GBI and Director Register for their swift and decisive action,” attorney Bakari Sellers said in a statement following the arrests. “But we also encourage them not to let their investigation end with these arrests. These three are just the tip of the iceberg.”

Last week, Hobbs’ sisters and supporters gathered in front of the Sheriff’s Office to demand justice not just for Hobbs, but for others they say have been victims of misconduct by the agency. Attorneys for Hobbs have requested an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

One lawsuit currently working its way through the courts is that of Adam Drummond, a man who alleges his own severe beating by corrections officers at the same facility as Hobbs was covered up. A woman named Jennie Sikes, who says she was the officer overseeing the initial investigation of that incident, has also filed a whistleblower suit. Neither Drummond nor Sikes could be reached for comment this week.

A representative from the Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


November 2022