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Georgia deputies arrested in beating of Black inmate that 'shocked the conscience,' officials say

Former Georgia deputies Mason Garrick, 23, Braxton Massey, 21, and Ryan Biegel, 24, are each charged with battery and violating the oath of office.

Three former Georgia sheriff's deputies were arrested and charged for allegedly beating a Black inmate in a videotaped September attack that "shocked the conscience," authorities said Tuesday.

Mason Garrick, 23, Braxton Massey, 21, and Ryan Biegel, 24, were taken into custody and charged with battery and violating the oath of office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Michael Register announced.

They had already been fired by the Camden County Sheriff’s Office prior to their arrests.

"There is a sacred and fragile trust that exists between law enforcement the communities that we serve," Register told reporters. "This trust must be protected and preserved."

All three have been booked into the Camden County Public Safety Complex, online records show. They are each being held on a $10,000 bond. Attorney information was not available for them.

Register said surveillance video of the beating troubled him.

Asked if the jailers acted improperly, the GBI director answered, "I think that's why we're standing here."

"As a citizen, my reaction is like anyone else, it shocked the conscience," Register said.

"When you look at the initial actions that transpired, I think our investigation thus far, and the district attorney felt, that it was probable cause to make an arrest on three of the individuals for battery and violation of oath of office."

Jarrett Hobbs, 41, is beaten by Georgia deputies at a Camden County detention center in Woodbine on Sept. 3, 2022.
Jarrett Hobbs, 41, is beaten by Georgia deputies at a Camden County detention center in Woodbine on Sept. 3, 2022.via attorney Harry Daniels

The arrests come a week after attorneys for inmate Jarrett Hobbs released several videos showing deputies allegedly beating him on Sept. 3 at the Camden County Jail in Woodbine.

Hobbs, 41, of Greensboro, North Carolina, was jailed on traffic offenses and for possessing a controlled substance. Attorney Harry Daniels said his client was suffering from a "psychological episode" and had asked to be placed in protective confinement.

"But instead of protecting him, these deputies jumped him and beat and kicked him mercilessly like a gang of dangerous thugs," Daniels said last week.

The videos showed the deputies appearing to punch Hobbs, drag him from his cell, slam him against a wall, and kick him repeatedly. Daniels said one of Hobbs' dreadlocks was ripped from his scalp during the attack.

Exactly what happened before the videos remain unclear. Federal court documents from last month said Hobbs was reportedly kicking his cell door and refused the deputies’ commands to stop. It alleged that Hobbs "tensed up, pulled away, and a physical altercation ... ensued" after the deputies entered the cell.

The document further stated that Hobbs was struck in the head by a deputy but also accused him of punching a deputy in the face and another in the side of the head. One of the deputies had a bruised eye and a broken hand, according to the court filing.

Daniels told NBC affiliate WXIA of Atlanta that his client would have been justified to fight back because he was unlawfully attacked. He said the deputy broke his hand by punching a wall as he swung at Hobbs.

The incident led to the sheriff's office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation launching separate investigations.

Daniels said the arrests are a "step toward justice," but "convictions and imprisonment are the final acts."