Sheriff: Use of Force on Inmate Justified
8 of 16 Defendants named in Federal Lawsuit employed by Sheriff's Department
Eight of the 16 defendants singled out in a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit are employed by the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department.
Sheriff Donna Tompkins distancing herself from the lawsuit citing a previous administration at the same time vigorously defending the actions of her staff.
“It’s easy to sit back and look at something for five seconds and go that’s wrong.” Sheriff Donna Tompkins
Sheriff Tompkins says the public isn’t getting the full story and the staff’s Use of Force involving inmate Cortney Jackson was justified according to a review.
“I mean the reports are there. Have you read all of the Use of Force reports because I provided all of those to the City Attorney’s office?” Sheriff Tompkins
According to the Sheriff, deputies deal with nearly 60 inmates classified as severely mentally ill daily inside the jail but did describe the string of encounters with Cortney Jackson as rare
“It was a serious Use of Force and it was probably the worst fight any of us have seen on video in some time. This was a sure enough fight.” Sheriff Tompkins
The public sees this and hears this with all due respect and they hear protocol and policy and the Use of Force was okay and they think when is it okay to knock out a mentally ill person’s teeth?
When is it okay to knock their teeth out?
“And again you’re asking me to come out and make statements that I really can’t make Robbie because of the litigation.” Sheriff Tompkins
And she says law enforcement already operates under a microscope in today’s climate.
“You know we are under a lot of scrutiny in law enforcement and know that I know that. I will certainly scrutinize anything but you can’t , I’ve said this over and over again you cannot make a decision based on 15, 20, 30 seconds of a video. You need to know all of the facts and circumstances that went into this case because that’s how we have to judge was this force appropriate.”
Sheriff Tompkins also said that she was perplexed the inmate was released just hours before a First news report included never before seen body cam video.
Tompkins said the inmate spent more than two years in jail for offenses that were bond-able.