‘No One Deserves to be Beaten Like That’: Georgia Sheriff Drops Charges, Agrees to Settlement with Man Jumped by Deputies in Viral Video

A Georgia sheriff’s office has dropped all the charges against a Black man at the center of a viral jail beating by deputies and agreed to pay him a settlement, according to his attorneys.

Despite video showing deputies ganging up Jarrett Hobbs, 41, and pummeling him inside and on jail grounds, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office hit him with a slew of charges. Prosecutors later determined it lacked sufficient evidence.

“The Glynn County District Attorney’s Office today dropped all criminal charges against Hobbs including the charges for assault, battery and obstruction for justice which deputies filed after the beating,” Hobbs’ attorneys said in a statement.

The warrant dismissal filed on Feb. 21 said the state declined to “prosecute drug and traffic charges further in the interests of justice.” The assault, battery and obstruction charges were dropped due to “insufficient evidence” to prove Hobbs was guilty of the charges.

The deputies caught on video battering Hobbs on Sept. 3, 2022, filed the charges against him after the physical assault inside the jail cell.  

“When the video came out, it was abundantly clear that Mr. Hobbs was not the aggressor,” Harry Daniels said to GPB.

Five jail deputies surrounded Hobbs in his cell before the assault. Footage shows the deputies taking turns punching Hobbs in the back of the head and neck. Other deputies in the cell restrained Hobbs by holding his wrists before he was thrown against the concrete wall.

Jarrett Hobbs warrant dismissal of charges filed against him by deputies criminally charged with beating him inside the Camden County jail. (Photo: ABS)

After the initial beating, Hobbs was placed in a restraint chair and not provided medical aid, WAGA-TV reported.

GPB reports authorities learned of Hobbs’ beating after North Carolina investigators were trying to determine if he violated his probation, discovering his September arrest in Georgia. Hobbs’ probation stems from a 2014 guilty plea related to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.

Hobbs’ attorneys obtained the jail security footage and released it publicly in November 2022. Soon afterward, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launched an investigation into the assault. Three of the deputies were later fired.

On Nov. 22, 2022, Braxton Massey, Mason Garrick and Ryan Biegel were arrested and charged with battery of an inmate and violating oath of office.

The other two employees involved faced disciplinary actions after an internal investigation but were not fired WTOC reported.

“The stories of abuse and corruption surrounding this detention center and the Camden County Sheriff’s Office are beyond disturbing and those responsible must be held accountable,” attorney Bakari Sellers said.

Hobbs’ attorneys also announced an undisclosed settlement was reached with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office stemming from the assault.

A screenshot of former Camden County deputies Ryan Biegel, Mason Garrick, Braxton Massey charged in connection with Jarrett Hobbs beating. (Photo: WXIA screenshot)

“Let’s be clear: no one deserves to be beaten like that. This settlement doesn’t make up for that, not by a long shot. But, at the end of the day, Mr. Hobbs’ charges were dropped, the officers who beat him have been charged and this settlement gives him and his family a new way forward. That’s something we can all be proud of,” Harry Daniels said.

Hobbs was sent to federal prison after police confirmed he violated his probation by leaving North Carolina last year. With the charges against him in Georgia dropped, Hobbs’ attorneys feel better about his remaining charges.

“He’s now eligible for release to a halfway house because he no longer has pending charges, which is major,” Daniels said.

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