Three Tennessee sheriff's deputies have been placed on administrative leave for repeatedly using a stun gun on a young man who was strapped to a chair (video below).
One of the deputies used the weapon, and the other two stood by and watched, reports the Daily Mail. None of the officers have been named.
The decision to place the deputies on leave was made after the victim sued them in federal court, the Tennessean reports.
Jordan Elias Norris, 19, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court.
The suit accuses the deputies of deprivation of civil rights, citing the use of excessive force and failure to protect after he was stunned more than 40 times in Cheatham County Jail in November 2016.
Many of the moments were captured on video.
After witnessing the footage, Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove directed supervisors to examine the sheriff's office's current use of force policy, and requested an inquiry by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
"As Sheriff, I want our citizens to know that any inappropriate behavior that may have violated an individual's rights will not be tolerated," he said in a statement. "I have placed the employees involved on administrative leave while the investigation is conducted. We will work closely and cooperatively with the TBI and District Attorney's Office to ensure all facts are provided and all angles of this incident are thoroughly investigated."
Norris was arrested Nov. 3, 2016, and charged with felony possession of marijuana for resale, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft, and five counts of possession of a prohibited weapon.
On Nov. 7, while still in jail, he was charged with felony vandalism and simple assault.
According to Use of Force Reports filed by corrections deputies, the incident began when officers attempted to handcuff Norris because they believed he was going to fight another prisoner.
Norris allegedly resisted the efforts to cuff him, after which he was stunned and strapped into a restraint chair.
The lawsuit alleges prolonged that use of the stun gun against Norris while he "was restrained and suffering a mental health episode was objectively unreasonable, unnecessary, excessive, and without a legitimate law enforcement purpose."
Norris was allegedly stunned "four times totaling approximately fifty seconds on his stomach and legs."
The deputy with the stun gun is quoted as saying, "I'll keep on doing that until I run out of batteries."
In summary, the lawsuit accuses the deputy of acting in a "sadistic and malicious nature in repeatedly tasing Plaintiff Norris, such that the force was unreasonable."
The suit also raises suspicion that Norris was stunned more times than officials concede. "Most of the Taser burns sustained by Plaintiff Norris are not accounted for by the Use of Force Reports and video clips received from the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office, raising further questions and creating a reasonable belief that Plaintiff Norris was also repeatedly tased on other occasions without proper justification," the suit says.