UPDATE: District Attorney requests TBI to investigate alleged jailhouse beating
By WRCB Staff
A still frame from the surveillance video shows deputies bringing Joshua Ferrierainto the facility. WRCBtv.com photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: District Attorney General Neal Pinkston has requested the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into an alleged jailhouse beating that happened at the Hamilton County Jail in August.
"Officers aren't perfect. I'm not going to back officers that step outside of their training. We'll look at it and make adjustments based on policy and procedure, their training and what happened," said Sheriff Jim Hammond. UPDATE: The man at the center of a video showing alleged excessive force from several sheriff's deputies was in court Monday where deputies testified it was the suspect who put up a fight.
Joshua Ferriera, 22, is charged with six counts of aggravated assault after deputies said he punched and kicked them during his arrest, forcing some to be checked out at Erlanger Hospital.
Deputies testified Monday they had to use "whatever force necessary" to even get the combative Ferriera into custody.
"Basically he was just kicking everywhere because he was trying to get out," one deputy told Judge Clarence Shattuck.
"It was a brawl. There was a lot of things that happened trying to get this man into custody," said other. "He was kicking, he was swinging, he was cursing."
Deputies said they used police batons and tasers and even pulled their guns to counter his swinging fists.
"I drew my weapon and I said Hamilton County Sheriff's Department, let me see your hand, show me your hands. But he didn't reply. He just stood there like he was dazed," one deputy testified.
Deputies testified they finally got Ferriera under control and he was booked in jail three hours after the incident. The judge told him it could've been worse.
"All officers are trained that you use minimal force to get compliance," said Sheriff Hammond. "Once you don't get compliance, you ramp it up. And you ramp it up to the point where you get compliance."
"You've got a lot to be thankful for young man because many, many times you can be thankful that an officer tried to subdue you in this way because the easiest way for them to handle you was with one shot," Judge Shattuck said.
The sheriff's department's Internal Affairs is investigating how the entire arrest was handled but will not comment on the incident. Those involved in the jail cell incident remain on the job.
PREVIOUS STORY:A complaint about excessive use of force prompted Internal Affairs detectives with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office to launch an investigation of at least six deputies.
The events in question happened in early August, when those deputies responded to a domestic fight and took 22-year old Joshua Ferriera into custody.
Channel 3 Eyewitness News was given surveillance video from inside the Hamilton County Jail as deputies brought Ferriera in for booking. The video shows deputies slamming Ferriera face first into the intake desk, then later ramming his head repeatedly into a concrete wall before throwing him into a holding cell.
What happens inside the cell isn't captured on video, but it does show several deputies going into the cell and staying for nearly a minute. As they leave the cell, a couple of officers appear to be straightening their clothing and tucking night sticks back into their belts.
Ferriera faces 11 charges, including Domestic Assault, 3 counts of Vandalism, Resisting Arrest and 6 counts of Aggravated Assault.
He's scheduled to appear in Hamilton County Sessions Court on October 6th.