CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill has been indicted by a federal grand jury for civil rights violations. The indictment involves allegations first reported by Channel 2 Action News.
The indictment alleges abuses involving a restraint chair in the Clayton County Jail, with several victims. The initials and allegations concerning one victim match those of a man interviewed by Winne in June of last year.
Hill faces four counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. Here is a look at what the indictment alleges against Hill, broken down by each alleged victim:
On February 3,2020, J.A. allegedly assaulted two women during a dispute about who was next in line at a Clayton County grocery store.
More than three weeks later, on the afternoon of February 25,2020, J.A. was arrested by Forest Park Police Department officers and CCSO deputies without incident. Clayton County records indicate J.A. was unarmed/ not under the influence of drugs, and offered no resistance.
A short time later, J.A. was booked into the jail as a pretrial detainee pending trial on charges stemming from the grocery store incident. 10. During the booking process, J.A. was escorted by a group of deputies and correction officers to the fingerprinting area where Defendant Hill confronted J.A.
During their exchange, Defendant HILL asked J.A. what J.A. had been doing in Clayton County on the day of the assault. J.A. replied, “It’s a Democracy, sir. It’s the United States. Defendant HILL snapped back, “No, it s not. Not in my county.”
When J.A. asked whether he was entitled to a fair and speedy trial, Defendant Hill replied, “Roll that chair around here. You stay out of Clayton County, you understand me? You sound like a dummy.”
When J.A. again asked whether he was entitled to a fair and speedy trial, Defendant Hill replied, “You entitled to sit in this chair, and you’re entitled to get the hell out of my county and don’t come back. That s what you’re entitled to. You sound like a damn jackass. Don’t you ever put your hand on a woman like that again. You’re fortunate that wasn’t my mother or grandmama or you wouldn’t be standing there. Now, sit there and see if you can get some damn sense in your head.”
During J.A.’s interaction with Defendant Hill, J.A. was surrounded by law enforcement personnel at all times, was handcuffed most of the time, and never posed a threat to anyone.
Following the interaction, J.A. was strapped into a restraint chair and left there for hours per Defendant Hill’s orders.
On April 26,2020, C.H., who had just turned seventeen years old, allegedly vandalized his family home during an argument with his mother and then left.
Shortly thereafter, a CCSO deputy apprehended C.H. nearby without incident and turned C.H. over to the custody of the Clayton County Police Department (CCPD). Clayton County records indicate C.H. was unarmed, not under the influence of drugs, and offered no resistance.
The deputy, a CCSO supervisor, then spoke with Defendant Hill on the phone, texted Defendant Hill a photograph of C.H. handcuffed and seated in a CCPD vehicle, and had the following text message exchange with Defendant HILL:
Defendant Hill: How old is he?
Defendant Hill: Chair
[RELATED: Jury acquits Victor Hill in corruption trial]
A few hours later, very early on April 27, 2020, C.H. was booked into the jail as a pretrial detainee pending trial on charges stemming from the incident at his home.
Although C.H. had been compliant with law enforcement during and after his arrest and never posed a threat to anyone, he was strapped into a restraint chair and left there for several hours per Defendant HILUs orders.
On the morning of April 27,2020, J.H. was arrested by the Jonesboro Police Department following a domestic disturbance with possible drug use.
At the police station after his arrest, J.H. fell out of a chair after apparently pretending to pass out. J.H. was transported to Southern Regional Medical Center for evaluation.
Wliile being treated at the hospital, J.H. refused treatment and left the building.
When Jonesboro police officers later re-apprehended J.H. outside his grandmother’s house that afternoon, J.H. did not cooperate or comply with officers’ commands and had to be carried down some steps and placed into a patrol vehicle. Clayton County records indicate that J.H. was unarmed, not under the influence of drugs, and offered no resistance.
In the patrol vehicle, J.H. again appeared to feign unconsciousness but offered no resistance.
Shortly thereafter, still during the afternoon of April 27, 2020, J.H. was booked into the jail as a pretrial detainee pending trial on charges stemming from the domestic disturbance.
Upon J.H. s his arrival at the jail, although J.H. was not combative and never posed a threat to anyone, J.H. was strapped into a restraint chair and left there for several hours per Defendant Hill’s orders.
During his time in the restraint chair, J.H. was not allowed to go to the restroom and urinated on the restraint chair.
While C.H. and J.H. were both strapped in restraint chairs near each other, Defendant Hill confronted them. Referring to C.H., Defendant Hill said, “You know what he did yesterday? He went and destroyed his mother’s house yesterday. That’s what this a*****e right here did.”
Addressing both C.H. and J.H., Defendant HILL then opined, “I think both of y’all are just a******s that need a man to kick y’all in the ass and y’all be okay. I don’t think y’all are bad people.”
Still addressing both C.H. and J.H., Defendant Hill added, “Now, I’m going to tell you something. If I hear about you (C.H.) messing up your mama’s house again, if I hear about you (J.H.) fighting cops and faking and going to the Southern Regional and then walking out and pulling out the IV, I’m a sit your ass in that chair for sixteen hours straight. Do you understand me? I need to hear from both of y’all that y’all not gonna show y’all’s ass in my county no more.”
G.H. and a CCSO deputy had a payment dispute over some landscaping work G.H. did for the deputy m Butts County, Georgia. The work and dispute were unrelated to the deputy’s employment with the CCSO. After learning about the dispute, Defendant Hill called G.H. on April 23, 2020. 33. During the call, Defendant Hill identified himself as the Clayton County Sheriff and asked G.H. why he was harassing his deputy. G.H. replied that Defendant Hill should tell his deputy to pay his bill and added, “you can go f*** yourself. “ The call then ended.
Unsure whether the caller had actually been the Clayton County Sheriff, G.H. used FaceTime to call back several times until Defendant Hill answered and removed a mask he was wearing.
After the FaceTime calls, Defendant Hill texted G.H., warning him not to call or text anymore. G.H. responded via text. “So this is Victor Hill correct.” Defendant Hill responded with a second text warning for G.H. not to call or text him anymore.
Although G.H. did not call or text again, Defendant Hill the next day instructed a CCSO deputy to swear out an arrest warrant against G.H. for harassing communications.
The next day, April 24,2020, Defendant Hill texted G.H., “[T]his is Sheriff Victor Hill. We have a warrant for your arrest. Would you like to turn yourself in, or have my Deputies find you? G.H. did not respond.
The next morning, April 25,2020, Defendant Hill again texted G.H., “My Deputies are actively looking for you. We have not and will not agree for you to turn yourself in when you want to. Turn yourself in today.’
Meanwhile, Defendant Hill had sent a fugitive squad armed with handguns and AR-15 rifles to Butts County in an attempt to arrest G.H. on the misdemeanor arrest warrant.
After retaining a lawyer, G.H. turned himself in at the CCSO during the evening of April 27,2020. Clayton County records indicate that G.H. was unarmed, not under the influence of drugs, and offered no resistance.
Shortly thereafter, G.H. was booked into the jail as a pretrial detainee pending trial on the harassing communications charges.
Surveillance footage from the jail shows G.H. interacting with jail personnel for more than half an hour, during which time he appeared cooperative and compliant, before Defendant Hill arrived and confronted him.
Immediately upon Defendant Hill’s arrival, although G.H. was surrounded by law enforcement personnel, remained compliant, and never posed a threat to anyone, G.H. was strapped into a restraint chair and left there for several hours per Defendant Hill’s orders.
Note: Some words were abbreviated from the actual indictment to cover foul language.
Hill was taken into federal custody and had a bond hearing at the federal courthouse in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday. A judge granted Hill a $50,000 bond, which the sheriff posted.
The charges carry a maximum of 10 years in prison, according to prosecutors.
The sheriff shared the following statement on the charges:
“Today I will begin the process of fighting a political motivated federal legal case. My legal team are the only ones authorized to speak on the details of this matter, and they are confident about the facts of this case. Meanwhile, as we go through this process, I will continue to focus on the mission of fighting crime in Clayton County for continued success.”
Cox Media Group