A horrifying video acquired by The Washington Post this morning depicts 18 year-old Jordan Norris being shocked repeatedly by Cheatham County Deputy Sheriff Mark Bryant with a taser while being restrained. Now, Norris is filing a suit against the participating officers, Bryant, Josh Marriott, and Jeff Key, alleging that they acted with excessive force “without legitimate law enforcement purpose” in using the taser.
The incident was captured by a camera in a county jail outside of Memphis, Tennessee on November 3 of last year. In the horrifying video, Bryant can be seen shocking Norris while he is strapped into the chair by his arms and legs. One of the officers appears to be holding a rag to Norris’ mouth to keep it close.
Bryant uses the taser on four separate occasions, with the total shock time in the video adding to approximately 50 seconds. “I’ll keep on doing that until I run out of batteries,” he says in between shocks.
Norris had been arrested for weapon and drug related charges, according to the Tennessean.
Norris’ lawsuit seeks punitive damages and alleges two instances of unnecessary taser usage, although his stepfather, William Chapman, told CBS affiliate WTVF that counted over 40 burns on Norris’ body. “The repeated and prolonged use of a Taser against a fully restrained person amounts to torture; the videos speak for themselves,” one of Norris’ lawyers, Benjamin Raybin, told the Washington Post.
Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove initially told media outlets that Norris was “very combative” and yelled that he wanted to be shot. Since the video’s release, Raybin has declined to speak publicly on the matter.
The three officers have been placed on administrative leave.
[Image and video via Washington Post]