CAMDEN COUNTY, Fla. – Three former Camden County law enforcement officers were indicted Wednesday on charges related to the beating of a 41-year-old inmate inside the county jail that was caught on camera and sparked outrage.
Former deputy Ryan Biegal and detention officers Mason Garrick and Braxton Massey were indicted by a Camden County grand jury on charges of battery, simple battery, and two counts each of violations of oath by a public officer.
The beating happened in September 2022.
The three law enforcement officers were arrested in November after lawyers for the inmate, Jarrett Hobbs, released the video showing where Hobbs was forced to the ground and restrained. In November, the Brunswick district attorney also asked the GBI to investigate the incident.
Hobbs was initially hit with 10 additional charges after the incident, but the charges were dropped once the video was released. The charges that landed him in jail were also dropped.
“Peace officers have great power over those who are in their custody and control. We trust our officers to responsibly exercise their power and properly treat the people who are being detained,” Brunswick District Attorney Keith Higgins said. “When our trust is broken by the excessive use of force, the officers must be held accountable. No one is above the law. Those who enforce the law cannot be allowed to break it.”
Hobbs’ lawyers also released a statement following the indictment.
“This indictment further demonstrates that the people will not tolerate this kind of abuse just because the abusers wear a badge. That being said, let’s be clear, the culture of violence and corruption at this detention center and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office do not begin or end with these officers or the beating that occurred on September 3, 2022.”
The Camden County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.
The battery and simple battery charges that the officers are facing are misdemeanors. If convicted, they could face up to 12 months in jail. The violation of oath by a public officer charge, however, is a felony with a possible punishment of one to five years in prison.
Another Camden County corrections officer was arrested Thursday after video showed him punching an inmate in March.
The video shows correctional officer Ja’Coby Anderson wrestling inmate Zyaire Ratliff to the ground and punching him three times before another officer steps between them and waved Anderson off.
Anderson was charged with simple battery and violation of oath by a public officer. Jail records show he was released after posting a $1,500 bond.