Three Cheatham County Sheriff’s deputies have been placed on administrative leave after a Pegram teen filed suit in federal court accusing them of using excessive force while he was being held at Cheatham County Jail.
Jordan Elias Norris, 19, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court accusing the deputies of deprivation of civil rights, citing the use of excessive force and failure to protect after he was repeatedly stunned with Tasers in the jail in November 2016. He suffered more than 40 pairs of Taser burns, many of which are unaccounted for by authorities, the lawsuit states.
Norris was arrested Nov. 3, 2016 and charged with felony manufacturing/possession of marijuana for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft under $500 and five counts of possession of a prohibited weapon.
He was later charged with felony vandalism of over $1,000 and simple assault Nov. 7 while still incarcerated.
Norris was originally suspected of stealing a semi-automatic rifle, and Sheriff’s deputies received information he was going to use the weapon on any law enforcement who tried to arrest him, according to Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove.
Norris was kept in the booking cell for several days for behavioral issues, explained Breedlove.
During Norris’ time in the jail, he was stunned several times, including while restrained, according to the lawsuit. Many of the incidents were captured on video, including by cameras on the Tasers themselves.
Breedlove released a statement Friday morning saying that he was not presented with all of the video footage at the initial briefing on the situation.
After seeing media reports and videos not previously viewed, Breedlove said he immediately directed supervisors to examine the Sheriff’s Office’s current Use of Force policy. He also contacted District Attorney General Ray Crouch Jr. to request an independent investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
“As Sheriff, I want our citizens to know that any inappropriate behavior that may have violated an individual’s rights will not be tolerated. I have placed the employees involved on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted,” he said in the statement. “We will work closely and cooperatively with the TBI and District Attorney’s Office to ensure all facts are provided and all angles of this incident are thoroughly investigated.”