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Press Release

Former Carroll County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Pleads Guilty to Using Taser on Restrained Pre-Trial Detainee

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A former lieutenant with the Carroll County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office has pleaded guilty to a civil rights violation for using a taser on a restrained pre-trial detainee, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, and U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III of the Western District of Tennessee.

Jeanette Sue Barnes, 48, pleaded guilty in federal court in Jackson, Tennessee, to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.  During the plea hearing, Barnes admitted that on March 22, 2015, she used her taser to drive-stun D.D.P., a pre-trial detainee, for 12 seconds, even though he was secured in a restraint chair and posed no threat to her or other officers.  As a result of the assault, D.D.P. suffered pain and burns to his skin.

Barnes will be sentenced on Feb. 18, 2016, and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. 

“The defendant abused the trust given to her as a law enforcement officer by needlessly inflicting pain on a restrained individual,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gupta.  “The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute those who violate the civil rights laws to ensure that the rights of all individuals, including those in custody, are protected.”

“No one is above the law, especially those who have taken an oath to uphold the law,” said U.S. Attorney Stanton III.  “Ensuring that law enforcement officers do not victimize the very citizens they are sworn to protect remains a top priority of this office.”

The FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigations investigated this case.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Erskine of the Western District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Jared Fishman of the Civil Rights Division.

Barnes Plea Agreement

Updated August 22, 2016

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 15-1427