Attorney: “Barbaric” Abuse inside Muscogee County Jail
Federal Lawsuit Alleges Mentally Ill Inmate Beaten, Tased Repeatedly
Courtney Jackson was processed inside the Muscogee County Jail on charges of obstruction of a police officer, theft by receiving stolen property and a pedestrian darting into traffic.
His attorney tells First News Jackson’s punishment far outweighed his crimes
“The things that we’ve outlined in this lawsuit should disturb anybody and concern anybody because even though a person’s in jail no one would deserve to be treated like that no matter what they were accused of or no matter what they did.” Mark Shelnutt
The federal lawsuit names 16 defendants, five of them employed by the Muscogee County Sheriff’s office who work inside the jail and describes a house of horrors during the Summer of 2016 when multiple use of force incidents were reported involving Jackson.
Video evidence obtained exclusively by WLTZ shows a portion of the inmate’s scuffle with Deputies in June of 2016. Jackson , who is described by all parties as mentally ill was tased repeatedly, ten times according to the lawsuit.
“You can hear the tasers just continually….continually, continually after the person is obviously no longer a threat. It’s, it’s scary at best and barbaric at worst.” Mark Shelnutt
According to the lawsuit the inmate never saw a physician but was routinely given Haldol, a powerful medication used to treat schizophrenia .
“Probably as much disturbing part as anything is that medication should have come from a psychiatrist. It should have been prescribed specifically and our information is that he was routinely given this drug and more or less to act as a sedative.” Shelnutt
Former Sheriff John Darr was at the helm when the alleged abuse occurred declined to comment on camera but did tell First News this inmate had a history of attacking officers and was a perfect candidate to be committed.
“Well if he was the perfect candidate to be committed, I don’t understand why they didn’t try to get that to happen because I don’t understand. That doesn’t suggest any kind of solution to the issue, to the problem.” Shelnutt
Inmate Cortney Jackson had been in jail since February 2016 just over two years. Coincidentally he was released on bond just hours prior to this report airing.
The City, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and West Central Georgia Hospital are also singled out in the Lawsuit.