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Case Number: 3:18-cr-00144
Judge: Waverly D. Crenshaw
Court: United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee (Davidson County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Sara Beth Myers and Michael J. Songer
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Description: Nashville, TN - The United States of America charged Mark Bryant with deprivation of the rights of another under color of law.
Former Supervisory Corrections Officer Convicted of Unlawful Force for Repeatedly Tasing Restrained Detainee
After a four-day trial on civil rights and obstruction charges, a federal jury returned a verdict for Mark Bryant, formerly a Corporal at the Cheatham County Jail in Ashland City, Tennessee. Bryant was convicted of two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242, for repeatedly tasing a restrained pretrial detainee. The jury acquitted Bryant of two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of lying to the FBI.
“Correctional officers who use unlawful force and cause bodily injury to detainees will be held accountable for their illegal actions,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “The Department of Justice will continue to vigorously prosecute matters that violate civil rights laws.”
“The defendant’s conduct in this case was detestable and offensive to every law enforcement officer who honors the badge,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran. “I want to thank the trial team and our law enforcement partners at the FBI for their outstanding efforts to ensure that this individual was brought to justice.”
“Citizens have a constitutional right to ethical treatment by employees of federal, state, and local government," said M.A. Myers, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Division of the FBI. "This conviction should be a reminder that wearing a badge does not make one above the law. The FBI will always work to bring to justice those who violate the civil rights of others."
Evidence presented at trial established that, on Nov. 5, 2016, then-Corporal Bryant repeatedly tased – for a total of 50 seconds – an eighteen-year-old pretrial detainee in a restraint chair, and then returned more than an hour later to again tase the detainee, while the detainee was compliant and fully restrained. As a result of Corporal Bryant’s unjustified uses of force, the detainee suffered bodily injury.
Sentencing will take place at a later date before U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw at which time Bryant will face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on each charge as well as three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI.
Indictment 6/20/18: 18:242 Use of excessive force under color of law
Superseding Indictment 4/17/19: 18:242 Use of excessive force under color of law
Indictment 6/20/18: 18:1519 Making false statements to a Federal Investigator
Superseding Indictment 4/17/19: 18:1519 Making false statements to a Federal Investigator
Superseding Indictment 4/17/19 Making a Materially False Statement to Federal Agents
§242. Deprivation of rights under color of law
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Outcome: 01/10/2020 101 Minute Entry for proceedings held before Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr: Jury Trial (Day 4) as to Mark Bryant held on 1/10/2020. Closing arguments; jury deliberations. Verdict reached on all counts. Verdict form to be filed. Guilty on Counts One and Two; Not Guilty on Counts Three, Four and Five. (Court Reporter Lise Matthews.) (jm) (Entered: 01/13/2020)
01/10/2020 102 EXHIBIT AND WITNESS LIST prepared by Deputy Clerk re: Minute Entries 96 , 98 , 99 , and 101 . (jm) (Entered: 01/13/2020)