State and federal agents have probed allegations of a man who had been arrested on a loud music complaint suffering personal injuries after being beaten by several officers at the Robeson County jail in 2007, according to authorities.
According to a July 2 statement from Sheriff Kenneth Seeley, his officer forwarded sometime in 2008 against Robert Brown, Ben Harris, and Bobby Ray Sampson to the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation and the FBI after an internal inquiry was conducted. At the time of the alleged incident, all three men were officers at the Robeson County Detention Center.
A lawsuit was filed in federal court in Raleigh in June alleging that on December 1, 2007, David Earl Scott was beaten and kicked by Brown, Harris, and Sampson until be was bloody. Court documents say the incident, which was recorded on videotape and attached to the lawsuit, took place as Scott was being taken to a holding cell inside the Robeson County Detention Center.
It was confirmed by Noelle Talley, a spokeswoman for the SBI, that the SBI had investigated the claims. She said the report had been forwarded to Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt in February 2008 for consideration of criminal charges.
According to records, Brown, Harris, and Sampson all resigned days before the SBI’s report was given to Britt on February 25, 2008. Brown resigned on January 31, Harris resigned on February 1, and Sampson resigned on February 22.
Sealey, who has also been named as a defendant, would not say whether the men had been asked to resign over the allegations.
Scott’s attorney said that he seeks trial by jury and is seeking payment for damages and lost wages. He said that since the incident, Scott has been required to seek medical attention for back and neck problems.
Court documents say that on November 30, 2007, Scott was arrested at his home after being informed by officers that a loud music complaint had been filed. While being booked into the jail, two officers suddenly approached and lifted a man, believed to be Scott, before slamming him to the ground, according to court documents and an alleged video of the incident. The officers then began to punch the man in the face and body. He is seen visibly bloodied by the incident moments later.