CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A Clayton County deputy has been placed on administrative leave after video surfaced that appears to show him shove an inmate against an elevator wall.
Attorney Amber Reed told Channel 2's Tom Jones that her client, Marlon Brown, suffered facial injuries and chipped teeth in the incident, which happened in June 2017.
Deputy Patrick Fluellen wrote in an official report at the time that Brown locked his legs and refused to get into the elevator as deputies tried to take him to a court appearance. Fluellen wrote that, when he shoved Brown inside, the elevator, Brown tripped over his shoes and leg irons and fell facedown.
Two high-ranking deputies investigated and determined that Fluellen broke no policies. Reed disagrees.
"His feet were lifted off the ground," Reed said. "I've never seen anybody trip and be suspended in the air before."
After seeing new video nearly a year after the incident, Sheriff Victor Hill suspended Fluellen and opened an investigation with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Reed said the video clearly shows that Fluellen used excessive force.
"I see my client being lifted off the ground and being throw into an elevator because of an officer who couldn't control his temper," she said.
Reed said she numerous prior excessive force complaints against Fluellen.
Jones learned that the video may never have been released if not for the determination of Brown's sister, Ashley, who demanded the jail release the video.
"It was Ashley going up to the jail every single day for about four days until someone finally turned over the video to her," Reed said. "Had his family not pushed for answers, we probably wouldn't have had any."
Reed said Brown is mentally ill and that no one at the jail has told her if her client is receiving the medical care he needs. She said it's a big problem that jail staff aren't properly trained to respond to mentally ill inmates.
"It's our contention that he was off his meds a little over four months," Reed said.
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