NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A former Cheatham County Sheriff corrections officer was sentenced to five years in prison for repeatedly tasing a restrained pretrial detainee inside the jail, according to a news release.
Officer Mark Bryant, 42, was convicted in January 2020 on two counts of using excessive force while acting under color of law.
“The extraordinary abuse of power displayed by Bryant was both disturbing and disappointing to the many fine men and women in law enforcement who strive every day to carry out their duties with honor and professionalism,” U.S. Attorney Don Cochran said in a news release. “We can never be complacent in our responsibility to protect every citizen from such abuse. Justice has been served and I commend our trial team and our law enforcement partners for their outstanding work in the investigation, preparation and prosecution of this case.”
Evidence presented at trial showed Bryant repeatedly tasing an 18-year-old detainee on Nov. 5, 2016, who was restrained and surrounded by officers inside the Cheatham County Jail. At around 8 p.m. that night, Bryant tased the detainee four times for a total of 50 seconds while the detainee was strapped into a chair. Bryant returned two hours later and tased the detainee again, this time while the detainee was handcuffed, shackled and compliant.
As a result of Bryant’s unjustified uses of force, the detainee suffered bodily injury, including burns that an officer on the scene described as making the detainee’s skin look like “raw hamburger meat.” As the senior officer at the scene, Bryant then directed his colleagues not to submit reports regarding his uses of force on the detainee.
Jordan Norris, the person who was detained, was found dead at a Pegram home in March 2018. Norris filed a lawsuit against Cheatham County after the incident. He eventually reached a settlement, details of which were not released.