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Press Release

Former Tennessee Department of Corrections Officer Sentenced for Writing False Report to Cover Up Another Officer’s Use of Excessive Force

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

Memphis, TN –  A former Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) tactical officer, Sebron Hollands, 33, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and two years of supervised release for writing a false report in an effort to cover up another officer’s use of excessive force on an inmate. He previously pled guilty to the offense on Oct. 2, 2023. His co-defendant, former TDOC tactical officer Javian Griffin, pled guilty on Oct. 11, 2023, to using excessive force against the inmate.

“The defendant pledged to protect and serve but instead he abused his authority as a corrections officer to try to cover up another officer’s use of excessive force,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This sentence sends a clear message that the Justice Department will hold accountable any official who obstructs a federal civil rights investigation.”

"Our country’s commitment to protecting its citizens’ civil rights doesn’t end at the prison gates,” said U.S. Attorney Kevin G. Ritz for the Western District of Tennessee. “The defendant in this case violated public trust and used his position of authority to make the entire facility – and the inmates in his care – less safe. 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, Hollands provided false information in his official report about Griffin’s use of unlawful force on an inmate. Hollands was present when 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 use of force. Then, after the incident, Hollands provided false information in his official use of force report in order 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 Justice Department’s Criminal Section prosecuted the case.


For more information, please contact Public Affairs Specialist Tiffany Thomas-Turner at (901) 544-4231 or  Follow the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Facebook or on Twitter at @WDTNNews for office news and updates.

Updated February 13, 2024