In Nov. 2014, Louis Flack received a severe beating (WBIR has the video) at the hands of Knox County Sheriff's Office jailers while in custody on an aggravated assault charge involving a fight with his brother. Those charges have since been dismissed. According to his lawyers, Mr. Flack is mentally ill.

As a result of injuries sustained in the beating, he has been to orthopedic specialists and will have to undergo surgery.

Attorney Lance Baker, who is representing Mr. Flack, said he will be filing a federal civil rights lawsuit in the next week or so. In a statement to KnoxViews, Mr. Baker said public records related to the incident have not been forthcoming despite multiple requests. Mr. Baker's statement after the break...

From: Attorney Lance Baker:

Mr. Flack was originally arrested for aggravated assault on November 20, 2014 when he got into an altercation with his brother. Those charges have since been dismissed. Although not disclosed to the public until January 23, 2015, apparently because the media had received a tip about the beating that occurred on November 28, coupled with the fact that the media kept pressuring KCSO to release the video, they finally did so in late January.

Mr. Flack is mentally ill. His records indicate that he may be schizophrenic, certainly paranoid and bipolar. Furthermore, all officers were put on notice of this because Mr. Flack was wearing a lime-green jumpsuit, a specific color design implemented by Sheriff Jones to serve as a clear signal to jailers to try alternative measures should problems erupt.

Of the five jailers that rushed Mr. Flack, one was fired (Nick Breeden) and one resigned (Jesse Rudd, who had already been disciplined for similar excessive force to a female inmate that was captured on video and who is already a named Defendant in a lawsuit filed by Russ Greene and Patrick Looper). Chris Fustos and David Sparkes were suspended for 2 and 5 days without pay.

I have asked on two different occasions for the county to turn over relevant documents relating to Mr. Flack's incarceration. The first time via email to the law director's office. They declined. Most recently I received no response after an official letter to the Sheriff under the Tennessee Public Records Act. "JJ" Jones personally told me I would get all the documents sent over to my office when they concluded their investigation - that was in January. They have stonewalled at every juncture.

Under the Tennessee Public Records Act public officials have 7 days to respond or not respond which constitutes an outright denial in and of itself. The County and the Sheriff’s office are relying upon the fact that there is purportedly an on-going criminal investigation. Nick Breeden was recently indicted on official oppression and simple assault charges, yet the grand jury did not return this indictment until after we had sent the second letter requesting the documents. In essence, they want to make it appear like there is an on-going investigation when we all know there is not one.

What this comes down to is transparency. There is a handheld video camcorder that an officer was using during the beating which we believe has audio. They have refused to turn that video over to us and the media at every avenue of these proceedings. There isn’t a mandate for the county to withhold the records. If they wanted to give me these records they could. It's a transparency issue. If they wanted to show the public exactly what happened in the case they can do that. How is that going to interfere with any investigation with the case that is obviously already concluded?

Anonymous33's picture

Sounds like the Sherriff and

Sounds like the Sherriff and the county leaders are more interested in playing politics rather than taking care of their inmate and the community.

Don Daugherty's picture

Why hasn't the News Sentinel

Why hasn't the News Sentinel or WBIR, WATE, or WVLT filed suit to get thee records? It sounds like something they would normally do. It'd be much more civic-minded than spending countless hours comparing a ring distribution list against a roster to see who didn't get a ring for the TaxSlayer Bowl. Just sayin' . . . .

Jamie Satterfield's picture

last resort

A lawsuit can only be filed once we are denied the records. To withhold citing ongoing investigation, ongoing prosecution (which is the reason for denial right now as one guy is charged) is not a final denial and therefore a lawsuit would be dismissed out of hand. I am curious, though. Since lawsuits cost KNS big bucks to pursue, are you a free reader or a subscriber?

Anonymous40's picture

Makes you question why the

Makes you question why the Sheriff's office still won't turn over the tape.

Anonymous3's picture

No one deserves to be treated

No one deserves to be treated like this, especially by our law enforcement officers.

Riley1889's picture

This type of abuse by

This type of abuse by officers seems to be a pattern in the Knox county jail.

Anonymous1299's picture

I appreciate you posting this

I appreciate you posting this Randy, we will keep you and the public informed as things progress.

Riley1889's picture

”It is clear that Knox County

”It is clear that Knox County and the Knox County Sheriff’s office is doing exactly the same thing the city is trying to do. It is downright shameful if this policy is implemented in regard to dash cam videos. The citizens of Knoxville deserve better than this."

Riley1889's picture

It is clear that Knox County

It is clear that Knox County and the Knox County Sheriff’s office is doing exactly the same thing the city is trying to do. It is downright shameful if this policy is implemented in regard to dash cam videos. The citizens of Knoxville deserve better than this.

(link...)

Average Guy's picture

Taxpayers get the bill again

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Knox TN Today

Local TV News

News Sentinel

State News

Local .GOV

Wire Reports

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

Search and Archives