Former Fulton jailer faces prison sentence

ATLANTA — A former Fulton County jailer who pleaded guilty in federal court to using excessive force against an inmate faces three months in federal prison.

Denita Renae Shaw, 41, of Smyrna, Ga., also faces three months of home confinement and three years of supervised release. U.S. District Court Judge Owen J. Forrester also ordered that Shaw perform 120 hours of community service.

Authorities say Shaw on Jan. 26, 2009, struck a handcuffed inmate in the head with a milk crate at the Fulton County Jail.

“The preservation of an inmate’s civil rights is vital to our legal system and while a person is being held at the Fulton County Jail it is crucial for detention officers to respect that,” Fulton County Sheriff Theodore Jackson said in a statement. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated and we will cooperate fully with federal authorities to punish offenders, no matter who they are.”

Shaw was fired following the incident and indicted Dec. 8 by a federal grand jury. She pleaded guilty in February to a felony charge of violating the civil rights of an inmate.

“This officer violated the Constitution and her oath of office when she assaulted a handcuffed inmate,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement. “For this reprehensible conduct, she will now walk in the shoes of her victim by becoming an inmate herself.”

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