Police brutality has long been an issue throughout the United States. But it doesn’t just end for those who are arrested for crimes. Inmates in our nation’s jails and prisons also have rights when it comes to their safety and welfare. Recently, a horrifying video surfaced of former inmate Jordan Norris, who suffered 40 taser burns at the hands of his jailers at Cheatham County Jail in Tennessee. Norris, who was 18-years-old at the time, was serving time for drug and gun crimes. Now 19, he has filed a federal lawsuit alleging excessive force.
The Fine Line Between Restraining & Excessive Force
Ask any Murray criminal defense attorney and they can tell you incredible stories of abusive practices conducted by Utah police officers and prison workers. It is often assumed that once a person is convicted of a crime, they must immediately surrender their rights to the state. However, it is important to understand prisoners have rights when it comes to their health and safety. Jail and prison workers have a responsibility to maintain proper protocol when it comes to handling prisoners. But sometimes there is a fine line between restraining an inmate and using excessive force.
The Use of Tasers in Jail
Utah’s jails and prisons house some of the most dangerous criminals in the country. Many have committed some of the most heinous acts, including violent crimes, sex crimes and drug crimes. Often, deputies and prison workers are placed in harm’s way when dealing with dangerous felons. There are occasions they must use tasers to restrain a prisoner that is posing a physical threat to others. But in the case of Jordan Norris, Cheatham County deputies took overstepped their bounds of responsibility. A viral video captures three deputies repeatedly tasing Norris while he is bound to a chair. The sound of the stun gun is clearly audible on the tape. At one point, one of the deputies can be heard saying, “I’ll keep doing that until I run out of batteries.”
During the incident one deputy used a taser while the other two failed to act or do anything to stop the torture. According to the lawsuit, Norris alleges the officer used unreasonable force, violating federal laws on the treatment of convicted prisoners. All three deputies have since been placed on administrative leave. Norris was originally arrested on November 3, 2016 for manufacturing/possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft under $500 along with five counts of possession of an illegal weapon, vandalism of more than $1,000 and simple assault. After spending two weeks in jail, he released on bond. Of the 40 taser burns Norris suffered, most were unaccounted by the Use of Force reports video clips provided by the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office, leading to increased suspicious he was tased repeatedly on other occasions.
Are You the Victim of Excessive Force? A Murray Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Police officers and law enforcement officials have a difficult job. Each day they are placed in precarious situations and must deal with some of the most dangerous people. However, they are also responsible for respecting the basic rights of all criminal suspects. If you or someone you know has been victim of police brutality or excessive force, it is vital to seek to representation from an experienced and knowledgeable legal professionals. The Murray criminal defense attorneys at White & Matern, PLLC are ready to help. They utilize an aggressive and comprehensive approach to help place each client in the best position to succeed. To learn more, contact their Murray law office and schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.