A Tennessee jury deliberated for less than an hour before convicting a Knox County jailer of assault and official oppression Tuesday after hearing evidence and viewing footage from the beating showing the corrections officer kicking the defenseless, hogtied inmate in the head.
Jurors were selected Monday afternoon for the trial of Nicholas J. Breeden, 37, who was fired by Knox County Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones two months after the incident on November 18, 2014.
Two other officers seen in the video were suspended after internal affairs investigated the beating. Another quit.
The FBI also began an investigation into possible civil rights violations and excessive force at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility, where the beating occurred.
Footage shows Breeden kick 52-year-old inmate kicking Louis Flack in the face, punching him in the head and body as another officer knees the hogtied inmate.
Breeden was among several other jailers who entered Flack’s cell in order to transport the inmate to another cell after he refused to put his hands through the jail cell’s trap door so they could cuff him.
After refusing to cooperate, the jailers decided to rush in and tackle him to the ground.
Four officers are seen throwing punches after Flack is taken down.
The video shows other officers kneeing the inmate as Breeden strikes him on the head and body.
After Flack is taken to the ground, one officer yells, “Give me your hands!” as two officer continue beating him.
Jailers handcuff Flack after he’s forced onto his stomach.
Flack, who was jailed on aggravated assault and burglary charges, tells jailers he needs to see his doctor because he’s scheduled for an “execution.”
Breeden’s attorney’s argued their client actions were caused by a “fight or flight instinct.”
Knox County Criminal Court Judge Bobby McGee ruled earlier last month that he would not allow Breeden’s defense to call a doctor to testify about the jailer’s mental state.
Knox County settled a civil rights alleging excessive force with Flack in 2015 for $200,000 after his attorney filed a$5,000,000 lawsuit in U.S. District Court.
Criminal charges against Flack were dropped.
A Knox County internal affairs found the jailers used “techniques that violated policy” and use of force training taught by the department.
Breeden’s sentencing is set for January 26.