Former corrections officer sentenced to 5 years for repeatedly tasing restrained detainee

Former corrections officer sentenced for brutal abuse of his authority.

Published: November 20, 2020 7:54pm

Updated: November 20, 2020 8:18pm

Former supervisory corrections officer Mark Bryant, 42, was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison for repeatedly tasing a detainee inside the Cheatham County Jail in Tennessee. Bryant was convicted in January 2020 for the use of excessive force while acting under color of law. 

The Department of Justice issued a press release on Friday about this case. 

“The defendant abused his power as a supervisory corrections officer by assaulting a restrained person in his custody. Officers who willfully use excessive force both violate the Constitution and erode the public trust in law enforcement,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting these abuses of power and upholding the Constitution and laws that protect us all.” 

An article from The Tennessean in 2018 said that there was surveillance video of the Nov. 5, 2016 incident that led to an investigation by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents.  

According to another article by the same reporter, “Bryant and two other deputies — Josh Mariott and Jeff Key — removed then-inmate Jordan Norris from his cell when he apparently became violent toward himself and others. Norris was tied to a restraint chair, though he loosened one arm, while Bryant used a stun gun on him, the investigation found.”

Bryant can be heard in the video telling Norris, “I’ll keep on doing it until I run out of batteries,” as he administers shocks.

The DOJ press release stated, “When a law enforcement officer violates the civil rights of another, he brings shame on the badge," quoting Douglas Korneski, Special Agent in Charge of the Memphis Field Office of the FBI. "The sentencing of former Corrections Officer Mark Bryant sends a strong message that law enforcement officers or any other government employees who abuse their authority and use unlawful force will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted.”

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