Three Georgia jail guards charged over beating caught on video

<span>Photograph: AP</span>
Photograph: AP

Three employees at a sheriff’s office in Georgia were arrested and charged after video was released showing them beating a detained suspect.

Jarrett Hobbs, 41, was being held at the Camden county jail, about two hours outside Savannah, on 3 September for a traffic violation and on drug possession charges, the Associated Press reported.

Related: Jail guards shown beating Black Georgia detainee must be fired, lawyers say

Security footage released by Hobbs’s lawyer showed Hobbs standing alone in his cell when at least five guards entered. Three officers could be seen punching Hobbs in the head before dragging him out and throwing him against a wall, where officers continued beating him.

Mason Garrick, Braxton Massey and Ryan Biegel were “charged with battery of an inmate and violating the oath of office”, the sheriff’s office said. All three were released on $10,000 bond but were also terminated. At least two other officers were facing disciplinary action, the sheriff’s office said.

Harry Daniels, a lawyer for Hobbs, said the beating of a Black man carried out by white officers was reminiscent of the “old antebellum, Jim Crow” era, the New York Times reported. Daniels also said the charges against the officers were “just the first step toward justice … Convictions and imprisonment are the final acts.”

Daniels obtained the security footage as a part of an investigation into whether Hobbs violated the terms of a supervised release for a 2014 federal conviction. The video was then released last Monday.

Hobbs was initially alleged to have violated probation during the incident in the Camden jail. According to a 20 October judge’s order, a probation officer testified that Hobbs “punched one deputy in the face while punching another deputy in the side of the head. One deputy sustained a bruised eye and a broken hand as a result of the incident.”

After video footage was released, the alleged probation violations were dismissed.

Hobbs was released from the Camden county jail on 30 September. He is currently incarcerated in the Guilford county detention center in Greensboro, North Carolina.