Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Abuse in court? Deputy strikes boy in court, boy charged with assault

Abuse in court? Deputy strikes boy in court, boy charged with assault

The civil-rights complaint is filed against Huskey and the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department. It alleges that the bailiff committed battery and violated D.W.’s constitutional rights by using excessive, unnecessary force. The suit is also claims that the relatively small — and historically troubled — Cocke County Sheriff’s Department has “maintained a policy or practice of encouraging the use of needless force to intimidate citizens.”

The boy’s mother, Christi Williford, believes a security camera was rolling the day her son was in court and captured the incident. But when Williford spoke in person the next day with a sheriff’s department detective, he refused to give her a copy of the security video, according to the suit. The detective allegedly told Williford that he had heard about the incident, viewed the tape and decided no further action was warranted.

Williford then asked the Cocke County District Attorney’s office to take action, which it did not, the lawsuit alleges. But because she pursued action against the deputy, Williford claims in the suit, the department retaliated against her son — by accusing the boy of assault.