Hours after the press conference, Georgia Bureau of Investigations announced on Twitter that the District Attorney of the Brunswick Judicial Circuit requested an investigation into the incident. On Thursday, November 17th it was reported in the press that five officers were placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
Mr. Hobbs’ sisters Jai-avian Thomas and Taylor Wood were among those who attended the press conference in a show of support. Additional speakers included attorney Mario Pacella and two individuals who testified to the abuses they suffered at the hands of the Camden County Sheriff’s Office in separate incidents: Torrance Jones and Crystal Wentworth. Pastor Eli Porter of the Poor and Minority Justice Association of Florida and Georgia also provided remarks and led a closing prayer for justice and peace.
The beating of Mr. Hobbs is the latest in a series of demonstrations of brutality and police misconduct by Camden County Sheriff’s Office, with multiple cases having gained viral media attention due to released video footage.
On the morning of September 3rd, 2022, Jarrett Hobbs of Greensboro, North Carolina was arrested after a traffic stop and booked for two misdemeanor traffic violations and possession of a controlled substance. Mr. Hobbs expressed he was in acute mental distress and was placed under suicide watch. That evening, five officers rushed into his cell and several proceeded to repeatedly punch and assault him. The officers dragged him out of the cell, slammed him against a wall, and continued brutalizing him. They put him in a wheeled restraint chair and slammed him back into the cell multiple times before closing the cell door. Mr. Hobbs was provided no medical attention for the painful physical injuries sustained during the assault and suffered grave mental and emotional trauma that also went untreated. Mr. Hobbs was placed in solitary confinement for two weeks. He is currently in police custody in North Carolina.
NAACP Camden County Branch is aware of numerous lawsuits against Camden County Sheriff’s Office related to officer misconduct, including a whistleblower who was fired for refusing to whitewash the incident report for a case similar to that of Mr. Hobbs (as reported in the Tribune & Georgian). NAACP Camden previously released police dash and bodycam video and called for justice for the unlawful arrest of Scunickenyatta Jenkins. After pressure on local authorities from the NAACP Camden Branch, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations recently concluded an investigation of Camden County Sheriff’s Deputy Christine Newman for assaulting a handcuffed woman after a routine traffic stop as seen in video uncovered by the Branch. That case is under review for charges by the District Attorney.
Information about NAACP Camden’s efforts to demand transparency and accountability from the Camden County Sheriff’s Office have been shared on an ongoing basis on the branch’s Facebook page. Follow the page for the latest updates.