UPDATE 9:20 a.m. 8/2: FBI confirms it was at CCSO “conducting court authorized law enforcement activities;” ADDS source’s claims of lax jail security
UPDATE 1:27 a.m. 8/2: minor edits throughout
The Federal Bureau of Investigation confirms that FBI agents were at the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office on Monday morning, “conducting court authorized law enforcement activities.” A reliable source told The Clayton Crescent on Monday that FBI agents executed a search warrant at the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office on Monday morning around 10:30 a.m.
Court documents show that a new federal case has been filed against Sheriff Victor Hill and several Clayton County Jail officers. It alleges that Hill knowingly hired a jailer, Raymon Sherrod Winn, who Atlanta Police had arrested in 2012 for battery with visible harm in, and who “has a pending criminal case in Clayton County for Simple Battery and Cruelty to Children.” The suit alleges that Hill’s “personal behavior…rises to the level of a custom or policy of deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights of inmates.”
It’s not clear whether the alleged search is related to this case or another. Hill is a defendant in more than a dozen active federal cases and remains under suspension pending the outcome of one of those cases. FBI Atlanta spokesman Tony Thomas told The Clayton Crescent, “For the integrity of the investigation, we will not confirm what this activity was related to.”
Read the full complaint:
The case, Robert Lee Taylor III vs. Victor Hill; Jailer Raymon Sherod Winn, Jailer L. Lyons, Jailer Watts, and Jailer Foster, alleges the jailers beat, stomped, tased, and poured body wash all over Taylor after he asked why the Scorpion Response Team was beating another detainee. Taylor alleges “he was told he ‘ain’t nothing but a criminal.’”
When Taylor tried to use the jail kiosk to tell his father about the alleged attack, according to the complaint, his access was cut off the same day and one of the messages he had sent including the words “beat” and “officer” was blocked.
The complaint alleges Taylor was moved to another housing unit in retaliation, that his submitted grievances were ignored, and that he suffered “severe mental, emotional, and psychological injury as a result of the unlawful, cruel, and unusual treatment.”
The nine-count federal complaint alleges these violations:
- Count 1: Fourth Amendment by Hill, Winn, Watts, Foster, Lyons
- Count 2: Eighth Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) by Hill, Winn, Watts, Foster, Lyons
- Count 3: Eighth Amendment (deliberate indifference) by Hill, Lyons
- Count 4: Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (due process) by Hill, Winn, Watts, Foster, Lyons
- Count 5: First Amendment by Hill, Winn, Watts, Foster, Lyons
- Count 6: Assault and battery (under Georgia law) by Hill, Winn, Watts, Foster, Lyons
- Count 7: Negligent hiring, supervision, and retention (under Georgia law) by Hill
- Count 8: seeks punitive damages against Hill, Winn, Watts, Foster, Lyons
- Count 9: seeks attorney’s fees against Hill, Winn, Watts, Foster, Lyons
Clayton County online court records confirm Winn’s pending charges of first-degree cruelty to children and simple battery-family violence. Winn had a May 5 calendar call, was on the July 21 jury trial calendar, and has another calendar call scheduled for October 6 before Superior Court Judge Robert Mack.
Winn has not been found guilty of those charges as of press time.
According to OpenPayrolls.com, Winn made $38,085.57 in 2019 as a corrections officer at the Clayton County Jail.
Another reliable source who asked not to be identified for reasons of detainees’ personal safety told The Clayton Crescent that, over many years, they have never seen conditions at the jail that are as dangerous. According to that source, some detainees allegedly are removing parts of doors to make shanks, with groups of detainees jumping lone detainees.
“There’s no security at the jail,” the source stated, adding that the jail has been understaffed for some time.
Multiple sources have told The Clayton Crescent that gang members allegedly are extorting other detainees in the jail, as well as those detainees’ family members on the outside.