Video shows jail beating

July 1, 2009 3:19:08 PM PDT
The violence starts at 1:05 a.m. on December 1, 2007 inside the Robeson County jail.Surveillance video shows a detention officer in a white shirt grabbing David Scott and - according to a civil lawsuit - giving him two kidney punches before picking him up and slamming him to the floor head first.

Click here to watch the raw video

Two other detention officers then join in. The tape shows them repeatedly hitting and kicking Scott.

"The video speaks for itself. And it, it's heartbreaking to watch it," offered Scott's attorney Stacy Miller II.

Miller won't say much about the pending lawsuit that's been filed against the officers.

Click here to read the lawsuit (.pdf)

He did tell Eyewitness News that he's dealt with plenty of police brutality complaints over the years.

He said most turn out to be false, but this one is on tape.

"Without the videotape, I don't know if this story would ever be filed or told," he said.

Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey is named in the suit, and won't comment on the video or the allegations.

But even without audio - the tape is silent - it seems that David Scott is having words with jailers before the beating. It may be about his claim in the lawsuit that the deputy who arrested him after a loud music complaint, beat him in another room off-camera just before he comes into view of the surveillance camera.

The lawsuit claims the jailers were already putting on rubber gloves as they approached Scott. And, it claims he was backing away with his hands up when the first jailer hit him and threw him to the ground - then dropped to his knees and punched him, as another officer kicked him repeatedly.

A third officer can then be seen putting on a rubber glove - and joining in - throwing several punches. When the officers stop, Scott stumbles to his feet and is led down the hallway - blood dripping on the floor as the officers have him put on a jumpsuit and dump his bloody clothes.

Finally, Scott's led out of camera view, and someone mops up the blood.

Later, the encounter led to Scott being charged with resisting arrest and assault on a government official. He pled guilty and got a 75-day suspended sentence and probation.

The officers faced only misdemeanor assault charges.

"This is 2009, and it really is just disturbing that things like this are still going on in America," said Miller

It should be noted that David Scott is no stranger to the law. He has a lengthy arrest record.

The Robeson County Sheriff's Office too has had its share of problems. 22 staff members were prosecuted in the federal corruption probe known as Operation Tarnished Badge in 2002. This case is not part of that investigation.

The lawsuit over the beating has been filed in federal court and no trial date has been set.


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