A federal jury has convicted former Cheatham County jail employee Mark Bryant of two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law for repeatedly using a Taser on a restrained pretrial detainee.
The jury acquitted Bryant of two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of lying to the FBI.
“The defendant’s conduct in this case was detestable and offensive to every law enforcement officer who honors the badge,” U.S. Attorney Donald Cochran said.
“Correctional officers who use unlawful force and cause bodily injury to detainees will be held accountable by the Civil Rights Division,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said. “The Department of Justice will continue to prosecute matters that involve the violation of our civil rights laws.”
Evidence presented at trial established that on Nov. 5, 2016, then-Corporal Bryant repeatedly tased – for a total of 50 seconds – an 18-year-old pretrial detainee in a restraint chair.
Bryant then returned more than an hour later to again tase the detainee, even though he was compliant and fully restrained. As a result of Bryant’s unjustified uses of force, the detainee suffered bodily injury.
Bryant will be sentenced later this year before U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on each count and a fine of up to $250,000.