Officer Clark, 31, was arrested and charged by local authorities back in June after the incident at the North Fulton County Jail in Alpharetta.
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A now-former Fulton County detention officer has been federally indicted on excessive force for choking a woman who was in custody at the North Fulton County Jail facility in Alpharetta back in June.
The U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, Ryan K. Buchanan, announced the charges against 31-year-old Officer Clark on Thursday. The former detention officer is charged with “using excessive force against a pretrial detainee,” according to a release.
Clark was previously charged with aggravated assault in Fulton County after being arrested over the incident, which Sheriff Pat Labat called an “indefensible act.”
“We recognize that detention officers have a particularly challenging job as they work to maintain order and protect detainees in our district’s jails and prisons,” U.S. Attorney Buchanan said in a statement. “However, this detention officer allegedly abused a handcuffed Fulton County detainee by strangling her and must be held accountable for such outrageous conduct.”
The incident happened on June 5 at the jail facility on Old Milton Parkway and was seen on surveillance and bodycam videos.
The videos show a woman being processed at the jail, handcuffed. She is verbally aggressive during the processing, yelling expletives and insults at officers and at one point telling them, “Call my mom now, or I will f****** hurt you,” and, “I will hurt you.”
A few minutes into the processing, with the woman struggling against officers, an officer not identified in the video grabs the woman by the back of her neck with one hand to face her toward a camera.
“Do not -” she starts, with the officer then putting her into a choke, placing a second hand around the front of her neck.
“That’s a chokehold, so I advise you to cooperate,” the officer tells her. “Hold your face, before you lose your breath. The choice is yours.”
The chokehold is held in place for about 11 seconds before the officer releases the woman and she collapses to the ground. It appears she loses consciousness briefly, before being roused back up.
The processing then continued with the woman being brought to a medical office. She is eventually taken to an ambulance and transported away from the facility.
Clark had been with the sheriff’s office since 2016. Local charges also included violation of oath by a public officer.
The federal case is being investigated by the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General.