A Savannah man is suing Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence and jail official Floyd Jackson for abuse he claims he suffered while in custody at the Chatham County jail.
Charles Ray, 34, was arrested for drug possession and taken to the jail. There, he advised deputies that he had Tourette’s syndrome and used a deep brain stimulator device to control it. He warned them that the metal detector they were going to use would interfere with the device and without it, and his medications, his Tourette’s would be uncontrollable.
According to Courthouse News, they didn’t listen.
After putting Ray through the metal detector, his Tourette’s symptoms manifested. As he had warned, the machine rendered the batteries of the device useless.
Tourette’s syndrome is characterized by uncontrollable tics, jerky movements, and vocalizations.
Ray repeatedly told deputies that he couldn’t control his movements. But when he didn’t sit still or control himself as deputies requested, he alleges they beat and kicked him.
He was restrained in a chair where he was deprived of food, water, and access to a restroom. While he was in the chair, the beatings continued. While the deputies beat him, Ray alleges, they laughed and made fun of him.
He is seeking damages for his physical injuries and emotional distress.
Police beatings are rare. But there is a good chance they are more common than the news media or any of us are aware.
When any one group has the power to take away the rights of an individual, that power must be wielded with great caution. And not all cops, or deputies, have that sort of restraint.
When a police officer barks an instruction at you, most people’s first reaction is to comply. Some, however, question the officer’s reasoning and their right to do so. While this is noble in some situations, as when standing up to injustice, questioning the police can result in highly charged incidences, including use of force.
You may not have been beaten by police, but the police can violate your rights in a variety of ways. Many of these violations are done in conjunction with a criminal investigation. And many of them can destroy the validity of a criminal case against you.
A gung-ho officer may not wait for a warrant or your permission to conduct a search. They might unlawfully detain you. Any of these situations can dramatically affect the outcome of any criminal charges they decide to eventually bring against you.
If you are charged with a crime and have questions about the police action and your rights, contact us today. Whether it’s a drug charge or something far more serious, we may be able to help.