CAMDEN COUNTY, Fla. – There’s more outrage surfacing Tuesday from Georgia public officials over the beating of a 41-year-old man at the Camden County Detention Center. There are calls for a full investigation and a rally will be held Wednesday in protest.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released this statement: This afternoon, Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Keith Higgins requested a GBI investigation of a use of force incident at the Camden County Safety Complex. A video showing part of the incident has been circulating on social media. GBI agents will conduct an independent & thorough investigation. Once the investigation is complete, we will provide the file to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.
NAACP presidents across the country are rallying behind calls for a full criminal investigation into the beating captured on surveillance camera in September. The video was released Monday, and it shows five corrections officers beating Jarrett Hobbs.
The video also shows at least four of the officers wrestling with Hobbs, while other officers are hitting him repeatedly. They continue to throw punches even though it appears Hobbs was not fighting back. A second video was released by Hobbs attorney shows him being pulled out of the cell and wrestled to the ground.
Carl Parker is the president of the NAACP in Brunswick County, North Carolina. “I think it should be fully investigated and not by a group that’s a part of the law enforcement that will give leniency to them. I believe those men ought to be fired.”
The Georgia NAACP sent out a tweet that read, “We want answers about this incident immediately!”
Neither video has audio, and it’s not abundantly clear what led up to the beating behind bars. Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor has ordered an internal investigation saying, if necessary, an additional agency will assist with the investigation.
Hobbs’ probation officer F.J. Carney who wasn’t present at the detention center did provide a narrative about what happened at the Camden County jail writing, “Jailers heard a large banging from the defendant’s holding cell. Hobbs was reportedly kicking his cell door and was told by jailers to stop. The defendant continued kicking resulting in the jailers approaching him, giving him verbal command and putting his hands behind his back , but the defendant did not comply...Hobbs resisted jailers and punched one deputy in the face while punching another deputy in the side of the head.”
NAACP President Carl Parker said regardless of Hobbs’ alleged actions, the retaliation in his opinion was excessively violent.
“I’m glad for the video,” Parker said. “I’m glad for somebody that was able to handle that and have that video come out. Because if it had not come out, we would not have heard anything, all of it would have been covered up.”
Attorneys for Hobbs are holding a news conference and rally Wednesday at 1:30pm at the Camden County Sheriff’s Office. The Camden County NAACP President, and other prominent civil rights attorneys are expected to make remarks and call for criminal charges to be filed against the officers.