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Georgia Jail Guards Charged in Prisoner Abuse Incident

Three guards at Georgia’s Dekalb County Jail (DCJ) were arrested and charged in connection with a May 15, 2011 altercation involving a pretrial detainee.

The prisoner, whose name was not released, had been booked into the DCJ on a disorderly conduct charge. He became embroiled in an argument with jail guard Nelson Seals over the use of a bathroom. The argument became physical.

An investigation was launched after Sheriff’s officials received a letter from the prisoner’s attorney. Three days later, arrests were made. On July 25, 2011, Seals was charged with misdemeanor battery and violation of oath of office.

DCJ guards Jean Bruno and Deborah Grier witnessed the incident but failed to report it to their supervisors; they were charged with violation of oath of office. All three guards were suspended without pay.

Two other guards were fired following the investigation by the Sheriff’s Office – Jean Silivus for failing to cooperate with investigators, and Emmett Kater for violation of oath of office. Two more DCJ employees, who were not named, face disciplinary action in connection with the incident.

“I will not tolerate abuse by any of my officers against any person that they are sworn to detain prior to or thereafter their day before a judge,” said Sheriff Thomas Brown.

Sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

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