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Press Release

Former Oklahoma Jail Sergeant Sentenced for Using Excessive Force

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, Johnnie K. Drewery, 29, a former sergeant with the Grady County Jail in Chickasha, Oklahoma, was sentenced to serve 48 months of probation, 30 days of weekend incarceration, and 104 hours of community service for using excessive force against an inmate, and thereby violating the inmate’s constitutional civil rights, announced Robert J. Troester, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

On January 19, 2022, Drewery pleaded guilty to a felony civil rights violation.  According to court documents and admissions Drewery made during the plea hearing, on July 11, 2020, Drewery, along with other officers, transported an inmate, D.H., into a holding cell at the Grady County Jail.  As the cell door was closing, D.H. spit on Drewery.  Drewery then screamed for the cell door to be reopened.  When the cell door was unlocked, Drewery rushed into the cell and, in retaliation for being spit on, struck and repeatedly kneed D.H.  D.H. suffered a fractured rib as a result of this assault. 

“Former Sergeant Drewery violated the public trust and the laws he was sworn to uphold when he assaulted a man entrusted to his care,” said U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester for the Western District of Oklahoma.  “Being a correctional officer did not make him above the law.  My office remains committed to protecting the constitutional rights of all Oklahomans – including those who are incarcerated.”

“Mr. Drewery’s retaliatory actions toward an inmate in his care not only violated the victim’s civil rights, but also compromised the public’s trust toward the law enforcement community,” said Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray of the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office.  “The sentence handed down today illustrates the FBI’s commitment to protecting the constitutional rights of all Americans.”

The case is the result of an investigation by the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia E. Barry for the Western of District of Oklahoma and Trial Attorney Laura Gilson of the Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.

Reference is made to court records for further information.

Updated June 1, 2023