Veteran Ga. sheriff's deputy indicted amid claims of excessive force

MONROE COUNTY, Ga. -- A Monroe County Grand Jury indicted a local sheriff's deputy, Thursday, following allegations that the 14-year veteran used excessive force against a woman in custody at the county jail.

The Grand Jury indicted Monroe County Sheriff's Sgt. William Jackson on counts of simple battery, battery and violation of oath of office by a public officer for an incident in 2016.

According to a release from the Towaliga Circuit District Attorney's Office, the indictment stemmed from a July 16 incident in which Jackson responded to a call from Micka Martin's husband who was concerned about her "alcohol consumption and irate behavior" while traveling through the county.

Jackson found marijuana in Martin's luggage and arrested her. However, at the jail, the release states that Martin attempted to "head butt" and "spit" at Sgt. Jackson while she was handcuffed. Jackson allegedly responded by striking Martin several times while she was restrained.

The sheriff's office learned of the incident 2 months later in September of 2016 after reviewing video footage and began an internal investigation of Sgt. Jackson. He was placed on administrative leave and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate as well.

The GBI's findings were turned over to District Attorney Jonathan Adams who presented the case to a Grand Jury.  Despite the preceding incident, the Grand Jury found that this was an unauthorized use of excessive force.

“Sheriff Bittick and I are committed to transparency and accountability in the performance of our duties and those of our personnel," Adams said. "This is proven by the Sheriff’s swift and thorough investigation and handling of this issue, and I will do so by prosecuting this case."

Adams reports that Jackson had no history of complaints regarding use of force and no prior disciplinary action. He has been with the sheriff's office for 14 years. 

In regard to the department, Adams added that this was an "isolated incident in what is an otherwise outstanding department."

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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