Two Formerly Incarcerated Individuals Sue Sheriff Victor Hill for Civil Rights Abuse
October 8, 2021
OCTOBER 8, 2021— This afternoon, we filed two lawsuits against suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. Both of our clients were victims of Sheriff Hill and his officers’ assault and abuses, which resulted in Hill being twice federally indicted for civil rights violations. These lawsuits join several prior lawsuits filed against Hill for his use of the restraint chair and we’re entering the fight in hopes of finally introducing him to accountability.
Melvin McDay was booked into Clayton County Jail for jaywalking and was beaten by 5 jailers, who tased him and shattered his jaw. He was strapped to the restraint chair for hours, forcibly relieved on himself, and then detained in solitary confinement for the next few days begging for medical attention. He was released without ever having seen a doctor—he later sought medical treatment on his own where he underwent surgery to repair his jaw.
Timothy O’Neil was booked into Clayton County Jail where Sheriff Hill took out a personal vendetta against him for having to shut down I-75 leading up to Mr. O’Neil’s arrest. Sheriff Hill ordered Mr. O’Neil to the restraint chair where he was forced to relieve on himself. He was then detained in a suicide watch cell with nothing but a paper gown for more than 2 weeks. He had no mattress, no pillow, no blanket, no clothes, and no toilet paper—leaving him to tear off pieces of his gown to use a toilet paper. The temperatures in his cell would be so cold that Mr. O’Neil would have to take his gown off to wrap around his feet in order to warm himself.
Timeline of Events
Jun 24, 2020: Person in the custody of Clayton County Jail alleges he was strapped to the restraint chair for hours in a suicide watch cell in nothing but a paper gown.
Apr 27, 2021: Sheriff Victor Hill is federally indicted for civil rights violations.
Jun 2, 2021: Governor Kemp suspends Victor Hill as sheriff.
Aug 3, 2021: Victor Hill faces new federal indictment alleging his office used a restraint chair on a detainee who was hooded and punched in the face after being arrested for speeding and driving on a suspended license.
Aug 31, 2021: Victor Hill and deputies are sued in a new restraint chair lawsuit.
Sep 15, 2021: Victor Hill is named in another restraint chair lawsuit alleging one of his deputies brutally assaulted a person and left him in the restraint chair for at least four hours.
Sep 22, 2021: Attorneys call for the DA to investigate repeated excessive force at Clayton County Jail.
Oct 8, 2021: Eshman Begnaud filed two lawsuits against Victor Hill and his officers for restraint chair and civil rights violations.
We’ve reached a settlement on behalf of Mr. McDay.
Find our blog post about this settlement and an update on Victor Hill’s criminal case by clicking the bell.