Darrin Johnson retired from his position as Lubbock County jailer when he learned he was under a criminal investigation. That is something Sheriff David Gutierrez says he has not had to deal with in six years.
It happened in the last days of October. Johnson, who was working the night shift as a jailer, allegedly beat up an inmate.
Sheriff Gutierrez says another jailer saw Johnson do it. "Inmates make aggressive moves to the officers. We have to maintain control," said Gutierrez. But he went on to say this was not the case. Gutierrez say Johnson hit the inmate for no reason at all.
In the eyes of the law, that is assault. But he has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon because of Johnson's job. The deadly weapon, Gutierrez says being the foot.
"I chose to give it to my criminal investigators department. They investigated, the case was sent to the DA's office where the charges were filed," he said.
Gutierrez says he has not arrested a deputy or jailer in six years. In 1998, when Sheriff Gutierrez was elected, he created an internal affairs department that would clean-up corruption in the jail. He arrested eight to nine of his deputies and jailers because of criminal violations.
"Since then, internal investigations have been at a minimum," said Gutierrez.
As for Johnson, Gutierrez says he knows that an officer can not physically abuse the inmates without probable cause.
Johnson is out of jail on bond. NewsChannel 11 contacted him by phone but he did want to talk to us without his attorney. Johnson never called us back.
|Courts & Crime|