On Wednesday, attorneys revealed a third video showing their client being beaten in the Camden County Detention Center.
On Monday, Hobbs’ legal representatives shared the first surveillance footage of the assault. More than two months after the event occurred, five cops were placed on administrative duty on Monday, a representative for the Camden County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Hobbs’ lawyers. Hobbs’ lawyers claim the tapes were shot on September 3 in Camden County Jail. On Monday, Sheriff Jim Proctor requested a review of the event from inside the department. On Tuesday, the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney Keith Higgins said that the GBI will be conducting an investigation into the event.
To ensure the officers would be easily accessible to answer investigators’ questions, a Sheriff’s Office official said they are still being paid and have been placed on administrative duty rather than administrative leave.
Less than an hour before a press conference at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday in front of the Camden County Courthouse, lawyers representing Hobbs released a third video clip. Also present at the news conference were Hobbs’ sisters and local activists.
In the first clip, Hobbs seems to reach for something on a prison cell bench. When the deputies arrive, they seem to attempt to detain him before repeatedly punching him in the head. Second footage shows Hobbs being dragged from his cell, thrown to the ground, and what seems to be restraints being placed on him while the battle proceeds into an adjacent corridor.
Update: Camden Co. Sheriff's Office spox says 5 deputies involved in beating of inmate Jarrett Hobbs are on administrative duty, *not* admin. leave as he previously thought. Says admin. duty began on Monday- more than 2 months after beating happened, per Hobbs' attys @wjxt4
— Anne Maxwell (@AnneMaxwellWJXT) November 16, 2022
These first two videos were silent, but the third one has loud screams. The third depicts the action from a different vantage point, including the buildup to the beating and its immediate aftermath.
It seems like Hobbs takes many blows in that video. They beg him to release what Hobbs claims is a piece of paper, and he refuses. A deputy is heard threatening him at one point.
The deputy threatens, “I will break your ******* thumb if you don’t let go.”
When they hear the noise, inmates may sometimes peek out of their cells to check what’s going on.
Due to the inmate’s undies falling off at an indeterminate moment in the footage, News4JAX has obscured the majority of it.
Hobbs’s attorney, Harry Daniels, has said that his client has suffered injuries.
Mr. Hobbs was bruised, had a broken tooth, and may have had internal bleeding. They failed to get him into therapy, so we will never know. “One of his dreadlocks was yanked right out of his skull,” Daniels added.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Hobbs’ lawyers claimed that the Sheriff’s Office was trying to hide the truth. They claim the Camden County sheriff enabled a culture of abuse by ignoring Hobbs’ allegation.
The footage was originally brought to light when it was sought by Hobbs’ probation officer in North Carolina and a U.S. attorney in that state, according to Hobbs’ lawyers. According to Hobbs’ probation officer, who was not there at the time of the event, Hobbs was beaten because he would not stop hammering on his cell.
In the third clip, there’s a loud noise, then a deputy moves near Hobbs, and then someone screams. A few seconds later, more sheriff’s officers start moving in that direction. Three additional deputies and a fourth one come walking up to the cell.
The probation officer for Hobbs said that Hobbs refused to place his hands behind his back, fought the jailers, and hit one deputy in the face and another in the side of the head. After the event, the deputies can be heard in the hallway, although it is difficult to make out what they are saying.
Lawyers for Hobbs have requested that the deputies be placed on administrative leave and criminally prosecuted. Their lawyer, Bakari Sellers, has said that they would also want the FBI and the Department of Justice to look into the actions of the Sheriff’s Office.
“What we have here today is a rogue, out of control, leadership-less agency,” Sellers said.