Suspended Georgia sheriff convicted of civil rights abuses
A federal jury on Wednesday returned a guilty verdict on six of seven charges against a suspended Georgia sheriff accused of violating the constitutional rights of people in his custody by unnecessarily strapping them into restraint chairs.
Prosecutors said Victor Hill, who was suspended as Clayton County sheriff after his indictment last year, had detainees strapped into restraint chairs for hours even though they posed no threat and complied with deputies’ instructions. The use of the chairs was unnecessary, was improperly used as punishment and caused pain and bodily injury in violation of the civil rights of seven men, prosecutors argued.
Defense attorneys asserted that Hill used the restraint chair legally to maintain order at the jail and didn’t overstep his lawful authority.
The jury began deliberating Friday afternoon, after about a week of testimony from more than three dozen witnesses, news outlets reported. Their verdict — guilty of violating the civil rights of six of the seven detainees — came Wednesday afternoon, news outlets reported.