CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – Three jail guards in Georgia were arrested Tuesday on battery charges in the September beating of a detainee at a county jail that was recorded by security cameras, authorities said. The arrests came after an attorney for the detainee released the video last week.
Camden County Sheriff’s employees Mason Garrick, Braxton Massey and Ryan Biegel were also charged with violating their oath of office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Camden sheriff’s officials said.
Additionally, News4JAX discovered a civil lawsuit that was filed in May by a former staff sergeant of the Sheriff’s Office under the Georgia Whistleblower Act. In it, Jennie Sikes says she was fired because she wanted to tell the truth about a non-combative inmate that was harmed by two corrections officers and a corporal on Jan. 24, 2021.
However, in a response, Sheriff Jim Proctor says Sikes’ claims are barred, and he denies the claims.
Among the claims, Sikes’ attorney states on page three of the complaint:
“After the beating, Staff Sergeant Sikes’ supervisors violated CCSO rules in a concerted effort to cover up the illegal conduct which she reporter truthfully to her supervisors. The truth was unwelcome and, as a result, her employment was terminated.”
The incident on Jan. 24, 2021 was described as “a violent and bloody incident”
It is unknown who the inmate is, but the civil suit alleges that it involved Correction Officer Larry Phelps, Sergeant Luis Vallejo and Corporal Jordan Malone, all for using force against an inmate.
In response to the civil claims, attorneys for Proctor responded saying:
“Plaintiff’s claims and/or damages may be barred, in whole or in part, pursuant to the doctrines of sovereign official or qualified immunity.”
It goes on to state that although Sikes sees this as retaliation for being a whistleblower or telling the truth .it does authorize individual capacity for a lawsuit.
News4JAX has requested comment from Sikes’ and Proctors’ attorneys.
Posted below is the complaint and defendant’s answer.