Georgia Sheriff in School Search Case Faces New Charges of Obstruction


Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby faces new charges this week related to the bizarre case where he ordered his deputies to carry out a massive drug search that violated the constitutional rights of hundreds of high school students in south Georgia.

The new charges filed Monday come two months after a Worth County grand jury indicted the sheriff on charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment and violation of oath of office related to the search he ordered in April where his deputies carried out invasive body searches of an entire local high school.

The latest charges accuse Hobby of interfering with the GBI’s criminal investigation in the case. Hobby is charged with interfering with witnesses, obstruction of justice and violation of oath of office. The warrants say Hobby told his employees at the sheriff’s office not to talk about the case with GBI investigators or the local district attorney’s office as they were investigating last summer.

The warrant said he threatened to fire his employees if they talked to investigators. Hobby in October was also accused of interfering with a GBI investigation into a separate case involving a drug arrest of his teenage son.

Gov. Nathan Deal suspended Hobby last month, pending the outcome of the criminal charges related to the high school search.

Source: http://www.ajc.com/news/breaking-news/sheriff-school-search-case-faces-new-charges-obstruction/vzYL9Eshr8yRp88JdNO24N/

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Georgia Police Sergeant Arrested For Battery And Child Cruelty


GEORGIA – A Roswell police officer was arrested on Thanksgiving and is facing several different charges.

Chad Harris, a sergeant with the department, was arrested in Cherokee County and has been charged with simple battery, battery and two counts of third degree cruelty to children, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A statement from Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant said Harris is now on paid administrative leave while the department conducts “an administrative investigation into the facts and circumstances” surrounding Harris’ arrest.

“It’s obviously a concern to us. Anybody in our profession that gets into cases like this and involves a situation such as this, it’s disheartening,” Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Marianne Kelley said.

Deputies were called to a “domestic dispute” involving Harris on Thursday, and they arrested him after the initial investigation.

He is being held without bond at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center.

Source: http://truthfight.com/roswell-ga-police-sergeant-arrested-battery-child-cruelty/

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[WATCH] 86 Year Old Man Gets $900,000 Settlement After Being Tased by Georgia Police


An 86-year-old black man injured after being jolted by a white officer’s Taser will get a $900,000 payout — one of the most significant for a stun gun case in South Carolina history — as video emerged Friday of the Kingstree encounter that raises further questions about police training on the use of force.

Albert Chatfield, who has dementia, put his hands in the air after a brief car chase Oct. 16 in the small Williamsburg County community, but he jogged backward from the officers trying to arrest him.

An officer said in a report that Chatfield was shocked with the stun gun to stop him from getting hit by passing traffic. But the only car in the video footage is backing slowly away from the action.

A federal court last year also declared unconstitutional any Taser use against someone who doesn’t present a danger to another person. Chatfield’s lawyer, state Rep. Justin Bamberg, said that an elderly man in a bout of confusion posed no threat and that the officers’ justification of the takedown contradicted the video.

Chatfield fell, and his head hit the pavement.

That a supervisor had ordered the officer to use the Taser shows a pervasive lack of training on the regulations, Bamberg said Friday.

“This is a learning opportunity,” he said. “It’s very unfortunate that such a learning session has to come at the expense of an 86-year-old grandfather. But it’s an opportunity to look at Taser training and try to stop it from happening from somebody else.”

The State Law Enforcement Division opened an investigation into the ordeal at the Kingstree police chief’s request, but no criminal charges were expected to come of it, a decision that Chatfield’s family did not oppose.

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YEAHWHATEVER: Georgia insists server deletion was “not undertaken to delete evidence”

Georgia state officials said Monday that the recent reports of server deletion “were not undertaken to delete evidence.” The conclusion came as part of a two-page “investigation report” authored by Ryan Germany of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office.

As Ars reported last week, a university server and its backups, believed to be key to a pending federal lawsuit filed against Georgia election officials, were deleted, according to e-mails recently released under a public records request.

Also this week, the state’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG) told plaintiffs that it would no longer be representing state election officials. The lawsuit will now be taken over by Barnes Law Group, headed by former Georgia Governor Ray Barnes.

OAG Spokeswoman Katelyn McCreary gave no explanation for the change in attorneys to the Associated Press. She did not respond to Ars’ request for comment.

Georgia previously came under heavy scrutiny after a researcher discovered significant problems with his home state’s voting system. A lawsuit soon followed in state court, asking the court to annul the results of the June 20 special election for Congress and to prevent Georgia’s existing computer-based voting system from being used again. The case, Curling v. Kemp, was filed in Fulton County Superior Court on July 3 but has since been moved to federal court.


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Georgia Police Sergeant Nathan VanBuren Convicted of Bribery and Fraud


A jury has convicted a former Cumming Police Sergeant of accepting bribes and computer fraud.

Nathan VanBuren, 35, responded to a 911 call to a home where he arrested a citizen. In July and August of 2015, it was discovered that VanBuren had additional communications with the citizen he arrested.

During those communications, VanBuren asked the citizen for a loan under the lie that his wages were being garnished and he had incurred financial debt due to his son’s medical and surgical expenses when in fact none of those things were true.

While cooperating with law enforcement, the citizen provided VanBuren with $5,000 in response to his repeated requests for money. VanBuren also used $1,000 in order to unlawfully access a law enforcement database and provided the results of a search for that citizen, according to the court.

VanBuren resigned before he was terminated.

“VanBuren broke the very laws he swore to uphold and enforce,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.

“Police officers are afforded respect, and are expected to model integrity and honesty. This former officer undermined the hard work of other officers who serve, as well as the community’s trust and respect for the police.”

“The FBI is charged with the unfortunate but necessary task of investigating police misconduct, to include corruption. That was the case with the allegations received involving then Cumming Police Sgt. VanBuren, which resulted in his federal indictment and today’s convictions via jury trial. The FBI continues to ask the public to do its part by reporting all allegations of public corruption, to include those involving law enforcement, to their nearest FBI field office for prompt action,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Atlanta Field Office.

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Son of Georgia Sheriff Indicted For Ordering a Massive School-Wide Drug Search Arrested For Drugs


The teenage son of the southwest Georgia sheriff indicted for ordering a massive school-wide drug search has now run afoul with the law on a drug-related charge.

The drug arrest of Zachary Lewis Hobby last week has renewed speculation that Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby’s decision to search the entire local high school last April was somehow linked to his son’s troubles.

Sheriff Hobby and two deputies were indicted earlier this month by a grand jury in a criminal case that alleges false imprisonment, violation of oath of office and sexual battery. Students at the high school say deputies sexually violated them in the bizarre search that included a four-hour lockdown at the school.

Hobby said he sent his deputies into the school on the belief that drugs were present, but his search that day found nothing.

The search of hundreds of students, some who said deputies sexually violated them by touching their breasts and private parts, has drawn unwanted national attention to the small community east of Albany.

“It’s a raw issue,” said Tommy Coleman, attorney for the Worth County Board of Education.

Coleman said anytime there’s a development in the story it fuels community discussion. He said the arrest last week of the sheriff’s son reignited speculation.

“My sense is this was common knowledge and it didn’t really surprise anyone in the community,” Coleman said.

Coleman said the sheriff’s son, Zachary Lewis Hobby, had been a student at Worth County High School part of last year, but he wasn’t at the school at the time of the April search.

Agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were called in last week to investigate a drug case involving the sheriff’s son. The younger Hobby, age 17, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and criminal trespass for an incident that occurred in Poulan on Oct. 9, according to the GBI.

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[WATCH] Georgia Cop Mistakes His Gun For Taser and Shoots Man in The Arm During Arrest


An 18-year-old male was shot in the arm on Monday by a cop who mistook his gun for his taser.

Police responded to a call about a son striking his mother across the face at around 2pm in Milledgeville, Georgia.
When they arrived to take the son, Jamel Jackson, 18, into custody he resisted and ‘a brief physical struggle ensued,’ according to a statement released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to the Macon Telegraph.

Bodycam footage shows the deputies telling Jackson: ‘Put your hands up.’

He struggles to get away from them so one of the deputies yells: ‘Taser! Taser!’

A deputy can then be seen pulling his gun from its holster and firing a shot at the teen.

Jackson gets up and can be heard saying: ‘You messed up my shirt didn’t you?’ before the deputies sit him down and call for medical help.

The GBI statement said the deputies decided to taser Jackson to ‘gain compliance,’ but Deputy Charles Gillis ‘mistakenly drew his firearm instead of his Taser, firing one shot into Jackson’s arm.’

Gillis, a nine-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, is on administrative leave pending further investigation.

The mother Gloria Jackson told police that she and Jamel got into an argument about him cooking food and not cleaning up his room.

‘She confronted him about his actions, he became aggressive toward her,’ the incident report says. ‘He followed her around the house, hitting her, and knocked her down, holding her down on the floor, and not letting her get up. She stated that she hit him and he finally let her up.’

A deputy said he noticed a bruise to the left of Gloria Jackson’s eye, which at started swelling at the time and was sore to the touch, according to the victim.

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