Disturbing footage has surfaced of three Cheatham County Sheriff's deputies using a stun gun on 18-year-old Jordan Norris while he was held down in a restraint chair in November 2016 in Ashland, Tennessee (video below).
Norris, who was arrested on weapons and drug charges, recently filed a lawsuit that asserts the deputies used excessive force when they repeatedly electrocuted him with the device inside the Cheatham County Jail, notes WTVF.
"It's terrible," Norris told the news station.
Norris' lawsuit includes pictures of him with burn marks on his body when he was released from jail.
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Norris' stepfather, William Chapman, recalled seeing the injuries: "I said,:'Jordan, what is that?' It looked like he had the measles. And he said: 'That's where they tased me.' I could not wrap my mind around that."
According to Chapman, he saw more than 40 burns on Norris' body.
"I was actually giving the police benefit of the doubt over my own child because I'm thinking he must have been fighting back, he must have been resisting," Chapman stated. "It was heartbreaking. It was very heartbreaking."
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Chapman changed his mind after seeing the jail surveillance video of the deputies repeatedly shocking his helpless stepson.
According to the police department's use-of-force report, Norris was "banging his head against the door" of his cell and making threats against other inmates in the jail cell. It's not clear why Norris was not placed in his own cell.
The deputies took Norris out of the jail cell, tied him in the restraint chair and proceeded to use the weapon on him.
"I think he had some sort of breakdown," Chapman stated. "He said he was feeling suicidal."
Norris' lawsuit says that the deputies used the stun gun on him while he was on suicide watch.
Sheriff Mike Breedlove told WTVF that his deputies were right to repeatedly tase the unarmed teen because he continued flinching and was not completely restrained.
"I'll keep doing that until I run out of batteries," one deputy tells Norris while electrocuting him.
Norris recalled that the deputy asked him: "Do you want me to do it again? We got a whole bunch of batteries we can drain into you pretty much. We will do it over and over until we have no more."
Breedlove wrote on the official Cheatham County Sheriff's Facebook page that Norris "peed a little bit" when he was arrested. Breedlove also called Norris "a drug dealer by trade and on the fast track to live the thug life."
According to Breedlove, the Facebook page is actually meant to be entertaining and humorous.
Norris' lawyer, Ben Raybin, told the news station: "We think that the tapes speak for themselves."
After the incident, Norris was taken to a hospital and then to a mental health facility.
Chapman added: "When I found out that he was actually strapped to a restraint chair, it was even more mind-boggling. It just didn't make any sense."
Breedlove insisted that the deputies had to "dry stun" the imprisoned unarmed inmate into compliance.
Despite Breedlove's repeated defense of his deputies and their actions, WKRN reports that Breedlove eventually placed all three deputies on administrative leave and -- nine months after the incident -- asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to look into what had happened.
Breedlove, who refused to go on camera for WTVF, did give an interview to WKRN:
He made the comments if we arrested him he would shoot us or kill us ... We have a duty to protect other inmates while they are in there as well ... He was very combative ... We put the spit guard on him because he was spitting and he also attempted to bite ... That is something that we want the TBI to look into because that by itself was problematic.