A gang of Camden County Sheriff’s deputies in Georgia were caught on video beating down a detainee in a small enclosed cell. The officers all appear to be white. The detainee is 41-year-old Jarrett Hobbs, a Black male.
Hobbs is pushed against a wall by the guards and repeatedly punched in the head and neck after five deputies enter the cell. Hobbs appears not to fight back or resist. Hobbs had been booked for traffic violations and drug possession charges on Sept. 3 in Camden County, about 100 miles south of Savannah.
Civil rights attorneys Bakari Sellers and Harry Daniels are asking authorities to press criminal charges against the sheriff’s deputies in Camden County who swarmed Hobbs.
“There was (absolutely) no reasoning, no justification, no cause, no debatable issue, no legal justification to go in that cell with a man sitting there and pummel him,” Sellers told CNN On Nov. 16.
Sellers served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for the 90th District from 2006 to 2014. He is the author of “My Vanishing Country,” a memoir about the lives of forgotten Black working-class men and women in the U.S. In 2006, Sellers made history when, at age 22, the Democrat defeated a 26-year incumbent state representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the U.S.
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Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor’s office said an internal investigation was “to begin immediately,” months after the incident occurred.
Federal court records in North Carolina, where Hobbs was on probation for a 2014 federal criminal conviction, say guards entered Hobbs’ cell because he was repeatedly kicking his cell door and refusing orders to stop, reported AP, which was the first to report the story.
Hobbs is seen alone in a cell, standing by the door, then turning toward the bed and picking up two objects, believed to be a piece of paper and a sandwich. A guard rushes into the cell and grabs Hobbs around the neck, trying to push him into a corner. Four officers come in behind him. They proceed to beat Hobbs.
Photo: Twitter, screenshot of video footage of detainee Jarrett Hobbs being beaten in his holding cell by Camden County Sherrif’s deputies on Sept. 3.