The Department of Justice announced on March 20th that Curtis Jerome Brown, Jr. was arrested by FBI agents and charged with violating civil rights, filing a false report, making false statements to federal agents, and obstruction of justice.
These charges arise out of Brown’s alleged cover-up of two incidents at the Fulton County jail. The criminal complaint alleges that during the first incident, on August 11, 2007, Brown beat a handcuffed inmate in the face and head with gloved fists. The second incident, which took place in mid-March 2008, involved a physical altercation between another inmate and Brown with two staff members, resulting in the inmate’s death. Brown allegedly obstructed justice by interfering with the investigations of these incidents.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office has referred allegations of another incident involving detention officer Denita Shaw to federal prosecutors, as well.
We have handled cases such as these in the past, in which corrections officers were arrested with much fanfare by the press and prosecutors, only to have a jury decide that the officers never did anything wrong. In these types of cases, prosecutors often rely on testimony from other inmates who are seeking to get out of jail early. Inmates seeking freedom have been known to lie. Although that may or may not be the case here, we must remember that press releases by prosecutors often tell only a portion of the story.