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Press Release

Former Tennessee Corrections Officer Sentenced for Using Excessive Force Against Inmate and Writing False Report to Cover It Up

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

A former Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) tactical officer, Javian Griffin, 38, was sentenced today to 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release for using excessive force against an inmate and writing a false report to cover it up.

Griffin pleaded guilty to the offense on Oct. 11, 2023. His co-defendant, another former TDOC tactical officer, Sebron Hollands, pleaded guilty on Oct. 2, 2023, to writing a false report.

“The defendant pledged to protect and serve but instead he abused his authority as a corrections officer, violently punching a man in the head and breaking his jaw,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The defendant made matters worse by trying to cover up his tracks with a false report.  This sentence sends a clear message that the Justice Department will hold accountable any official inside our jails and prisons who violates an inmate’s civil rights.”

“No correctional officer is above the law,” said U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz for the Western District of Tennessee. “The defendant assaulted an inmate and then tried to cover it up. This office’s National Security and Civil Rights Unit will continue to prioritize the prosecution of public employees who violate the civil rights of others.”

“When correctional officers abuse their authority, it not only violates our civil rights laws, it undermines the criminal justice system,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas DePodesta of the FBI Memphis Field Office. “The FBI makes it a priority to bring to justice any law enforcement officer who violates the civil rights of those they are sworn to protect.”

According to court documents entered in connection with the guilty plea, Griffin, without justification, punched an inmate in the head, breaking the inmate’s jaw. The inmate did not resist or pose a threat justifying the defendant’s use of force. After the incident, Griffin wrote a false report to cover-up the assault. Griffin’s co-defendant, Hollands, assisted with the cover up by providing false information in his official use of force report to obstruct the investigation of the incident.

The FBI Memphis Field Office investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Pritchard for the Western District of Tennessee and Trial Attorneys Matthew Tannenbaum and Andrew Manns of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section prosecuted the case.

Updated May 6, 2024




Civil Rights Division 

Civil Rights - Criminal Section 

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) 

USAO - Tennessee, Western

Press Release Number: 24-576

Updated May 8, 2024