© 2022 WUGA | University of Georgia
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Georgia criminal investigators launch assault investigation at Camden County jail

camden county
Attorney Harry Daniels

State criminal investigators in Georgia agreed on Tuesday, Nov. 15, to launch an investigation into a confrontation at a Camden County jail where guards attacked a detainee and hurled him against a wall two months ago.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that these findings will be passed onto Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Keith Higgins, who requested an independent investigation after a video of the confrontation became public.

Atlanta civil rights attorney Harry Daniels stated that the security footage shows deputies unleashing an unprovoked and “brutal beating” on detainee Jarrett Hobbs, a 41-year-old Black man from Greensboro, North Carolina. The recordings were taken from security cameras inside and outside Hobbs’s cell on Sept. 3, the day he was booked on drug possession and traffic charges.

Although federal court records in North Carolina claimed that guards entered the cell because Hobbs was kicking his cell doors and ignoring orders to stop, the video showed Hobbs standing by the door of his cell before turning toward the bed and picking up two objects. His attorney said that they were a piece of paper and a sandwich. A guard rushed into the cell and grabbed Hobbs around the neck, with four others behind him.

In the video, the jailers attempted to hold Hobbs by the wrists while others punched his head and neck. A second camera from outside the cell also showed the jailers dragging Hobbs through the open door and hurling him against a wall. The struggle continued for about a minute, ending when Hobbs appeared to be pinned on the ground off-camera.

Hobbs was charged with aggravated battery, simple assault and obstruction of law enforcement officers after the incident.

The sheriff’s office declined to answer additional questions, withholding the names, races, and employment of the deputies.

Hobbs's attorneys will hold a news conference in Camden County, about a hundred miles south of Savannah to further discuss the case.