Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis has placed three deputies on administrative leave with pay in connection with the alleged beating of a suspect.
Davis announced the move after the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was asked to investigate the incident after Channel 4 News obtained a copy of the video showing Darrin Ring being attacked by Humphreys County deputies.
Deputies suspended were Tim Hedge, James McCord and Benji Lee.
"The department had not taken any official action until now because we feel the deputies involved in this incident have the same due process rights as every other citizen of Humphreys County," Davis said in a news release. "Now that the investigation has officially begun, I am placing the deputies involved on administrative leave with pay."
Davis said he was made aware of the formal initiation of the TBI investigation on Friday by District Attorney Dan Alsobrooks.
In the release, Davis said the department will cooperate with the investigation.
"I also want the citizens to know that the members of the sheriff's office are going to continue to conduct our everyday business and provide the most professional service possible to the county," he said.
Meanwhile, an enhanced copy of the audio of the arrest tape revealed for the first time what was said before the deputies hit Darrin Ring and how they talked to one another during the arrest.
The Humphreys County Sheriff's Department said their its officers were in a desperate fight with an intoxicated wildman.
But the beating was suspicious enough that Alsobrooks called for a TBI investigation.
Ring has been in and out of trouble for much of his adult life in Humphreys County.
When deputies discovered him drunk on Jan. 23, they almost immediately took him to the ground. Public defender Jake Lockert and defense attorney David Raybin said there was no legal reason to take him to the ground since he hadn't done anything.
With the enhanced audio, right before the beating begin, you hear an officer say "He's a douche. Let's f... him up."
Raybin said this is entirely out of order.
"The failure of these officers to comply with basic law enforcement policies and procedures is alarming," said Raybin.
Hedge, McCord and Lee beat Ring intermittently for the next seven minutes.
At one point a deputy said, "Stand on his arms," and then one deputy said to another, "You want a turn?"
At one point a handcuffed Ring stopped moving. "I appreciate you being compliant," said one deputy.
At this point, if not sooner, Raybin said it was time to take a compliant Ring to the squad car.
"This protracted meeting was pure raw punishment," said Raybin. "All they had to do was handcuff him and just carry him away."
Instead, Waverly Police officer Parnell showed up with a Taser. Now Ring is beaten with an asp, kicked and Tasered repeatedly.
He is only then dragged back to the squad car where he sat with a punctured lung and four broken ribs, breathing heavily for nearly half an hour.
Ring was arrested on Jan. 23 and charged with aggravated assault on police officers and resisting arrest. Ring was released from jail on Friday upon request from Alsobrooks.
"Once we actually reviewed the police in-car video, it raised enough questions to order a full investigation," Alsobrooks said on Friday. "We don't want to rush to judgment, but we did want to release Mr. Ring pending the investigation."
Friday, August 22 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:16:18 GMT
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