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New charge faced by Ga. sheriff over treatment of inmates

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 7:25 AM EDT
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ATLANTA - An Atlanta-area sheriff is facing an additional charge in a federal prosecution accusing him of violating the civil rights of people in his agency’s custody.

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill — suspended from office upon the recommendation of a panel that included Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams — is accused of ordering that inmates be strapped into a restraint chair without justification and as punishment.

A federal grand jury in April indicted Hill, finding that he had violated the civil rights of four people at the jail.

The indictment says the men suffered pain and bodily injury when they were held for hours in a restraint chair even though they had complied with deputies and posed no threat.

“That restraint is supposed to be monitored by a medical professional, and it’s very clear … that it’s never to be used at punishment,” Burke County Sheriff Williams said after the panel made its recommendation.

A new indictment filed last Thursday adds an additional alleged victim.

Hill was suspended from office by Gov. Brian Kemp upon the recommendation of the panel that included Williams, state Attorney General Chris Carr and Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds. The appointment of such a commission is standard practice in suspending a public official in the Peach State.

The panel found that the charges in the indictment relate to and directly affect Hill’s ability to do his job in a way that adversely affects the public.

From reports by The Associated Press and WRDW/WAGT