Sheriff comments on excessive force at the Hamilton County jail
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Channel 3 has obtained security footage from September, which shows officers slamming 55-year-old Stephen Minney against a desk at the Hamilton County jail during booking.
Minney was there after being arrested outside a hospital, yelling at people while drunk. Minney complained, which later lead to an investigation.
Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond says, "We have a lot of standards we have to follow when we deal with inmates in the jail, not only for their well-being, but for the safety of my staff."
In the footage you can see Minney being taken from the booking area to a holding cell where he became unruly as officers Daniel Harden and Andrew Standifer placed him against the wall, then wrestled him to the ground.
During the ordeal, Minney was cut on his head.
Sheriff Hammond says policy doesn't provide a procedure that could have eased the situation, but says better training could help.
"Every incident is different when dealing with human beings," he says. "You cannot put a policy in play for every instance that could possibly happen."
Sheriff Hammond has installed nearly a dozen new cameras at the jail, after similar complaints from inmates and family members.
Hammond says he is able to cover more angles of the jail than ever before and more cameras are on the way.
Minney hasn't been seen since the arrest, but Hammond says next time a similar situation happens, he urges jail officers use more brains than brawn.
"The wiser course of action when dealing with someone that is impaired is to get more help in there to physically retain him to get him where he needs to be," Hammond says.
Both corrections officers have been with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office for less than a year and were given a one day suspension without pay.
Hammond says this example will be used as a learning tool.