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CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – Since November, four guards at the Camden County Detention Center have been arrested in connection with hitting inmates, and the News4JAX I-TEAM learned a fifth was fired about three weeks ago for inappropriately using force.
The District Attorney has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigations to look into the most recent incident now.
Civil rights attorney Harry Daniels, who is representing several former inmates, called the issues at the detention center an “ongoing pattern of brutality.”
He said he’s filed a federal lawsuit about one of the incidents, claiming his client was beaten so badly at the jail in 2021 that he suffered a traumatic brain injury and that evidence of that abuse was covered up.
The jail first came under scrutiny in November when attorneys released a video of guards beating inmate Jarett Hobbs. Three of the officers in the video were fired and were recently indicted by a grand jury.
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.
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.
Another video that came to light earlier this month shows correctional officer Ja’Coby Anderson wrestling 23-year-old Zyaire Ratliff to the ground in the jail in March and punching him three times before another officer steps between them and waves 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.
“It’s a place where they make their own rules and whatever they say goes,” Ratliff said. “Once you come through that door it’s basically — it’s their rules and this is what it is. If you don’t do what they want… this is the type of thing that happens.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said the sheriff does not comment on pending litigation.
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