Home Atlanta Press Releases 2009 Fulton County Jailer Charged with Excessive Force After Striking a Handcuffed Inmate with a Milk Crate

Fulton County Jailer Charged with Excessive Force After Striking a Handcuffed Inmate with a Milk Crate

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 11, 2009
  • Northern District of Georgia (404) 581-6000

ATLANTA—DENITA RENAE SHAW, 41, of Smyrna, Georgia, a former Fulton County Sheriff’s Detention Officer, was arraigned today on a felony charge of violating civil rights by using excessive force against an inmate at the Fulton County Jail. SHAW was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Gerrilyn Brill, and has been released on non-monetary bond conditions set by the court.

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said, “Policies and procedures are in place at the various correctional facilities to ensure that inmates under the control of its correctional officers are handled appropriately and within the confines of the law. The FBI is very clear on its role of investigating and enforcing violations of federal civil rights laws including when those violations occur within a correctional facility and by a sworn law enforcement officer.”

Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson said, “This detention officer was fired and our office is cooperating fully in this prosecution. We are continuing to work with the FBI to investigate any and all violations within the jail, and anyone with information about any other abuses should contact our office or the FBI.” 

According to Acting United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: On January 26, 2009, SHAW, working as a detention officer at the Fulton County Jail, allegedly used excessive force when she struck a handcuffed inmate with a milk crate at the Fulton County Jail. The indictment alleges that this assault violated the inmate’s constitutional right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law. SHAW was terminated as a result of the incident. 

SHAW was indicted by a federal grand jury on the charge on December 8, 2009.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Jamila M. Hall is prosecuting the case.

For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, Acting United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.usdoj.gov/usao/gan.

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