Deputy puts knee on bullet-stricken neck of freed inmate in jail

Jimmy Lee Moore suffers from a form of paraplegia and also a gunshot wound to the head, with the bullet lodged visibly in his neck. (Photo David Tulis)
Right after being freed from the jail, Jimmy Lee Moore writes an affidavit about his being abused by a deputy while in custody. (Photo David Tulis)
Jimmy Lee More visits the Hamilton County sheriff’s department annex and speaks with an internal affairs officer, giving an oral narrative of a jail abuse incident based on his affidavit. (Photo David Tulis)

On May 15 Jimmy Lee Moore was thrown to the floor of the Hamilton County Jail in downtown Chattanooga after he uttered objections to being transported by the government to the Silverdale jail in Brainerd after his bond had been met. He explains how he was injured by a deputy who, in seeking to gain control of a frail inmate and to assert his authority, tossed him facedown to the floor and pressed his knee into Mr. Moore’s neck. Mr. Moore is a crime victim and has a bullet permanently embedded in his neck. After writing this affidavit, Mr. Moore went to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s annex and filed an internal affairs complaint.

Affidavit of Jimmy Lee Moore

By Jimmy Lee Moore

I am Jimmy Lee Moore, age 46, and I live at 3106 St. Paul St., Chattanooga, Tenn., 37406. I have worked as carpenter, cabinetmaker, plumber, landscaper and do other trades. Disabled, I have received SSI supplemental security income from the U.S. government since 2016.

The following account of my jail experience is true and complete, to the best of my recollection.

On May 15, at about 5:45 p.m., I was traveling to a destination in my 2007 Mercedes sedan going to an addiction recovery on Shallowford Road.

As I was traveling, a police officer stopped me and charged me with “driving on revoked.” Because my record showed a DUI in 2016, he arrested me.

We arrived the Hamilton County jail at 6:41, according to my phone. The officers fingerprinted me, put me before a magistrate, and booked me. I made a phone call.

After officers took my possessions and made a list of the items, they strip searched me.

Lt. Lackey demanded, “What are you doing back here?”

“I am here for driving on a revoked charge due to a DUI.” After I said that, I explained to them, “How can I have a DUI when I took blood test when the test results of alcohol was 0.0 percent? And, due to the results of the test, it said that I had 0.5 percent of marijuana in my system.”

I explained to him, “How can I have a DUI due to marijuana? Every human being, whether black, white, brown or green, has THC in their system, and they don’t have to smoked marijuana. It’s a scientific fact.”

“It is a drug, and it is still a DUI,” he said. And I said, “Huh? For real?”

“You were still driving under the influence.”

Hereditary spastic paraplegia

They said, “Mr. Moore, you need to go to the quarter deck (the horseshoe) and don’t cause no problems.”

“Lt. Lackey,” I said, “You know I don’t cause no problems.”

I went to the medical office and they asked me questions about my mental health. A woman asked me if I have any disabilities.

I told her my disability is called hereditary spastic paraplegia. I asked her, “Can I have Ibuprofen, because I may be here for awhile.”

She said, “I can only give you two until you get on the floor where you’re supposed to be,” which is the fourth floor, for people with medical problems.

I did not get to the fourth floor, because I was taken to Silverdale.

The lady called me for my fingerprints. I got fingerprinted. I went back down to the horse shoe and did as Mr. Lackey said, and sat quiet.

I walk with a cane, but when I was arrested had been forced to leave it in my car.

About 45 minutes later, the magistrate called me. A sign just said “magistrate.”

He and I discussed the criminal charge against me and my background and personal history. He set a bond for release at $2,500.

I went back to the holding area.

A woman officer directed me to the area where the phone is. I called Key Bonding. But Lt. Lackey interrupted the conversation. “You are not supposed to be on the phone.”

Key accepts cash offer

In the middle of the call to get my bond, I hung up and went back to the horseshoe, making no comment.

I sat down, and waited 30 minutes while another prisoner, a woman, used the phone.

The woman finished her call, and a female lieutenant said I could now use the phone. I called Key Bonding again, telling Charles Key that I had $150, which he indicated he was willing to accept, and which he did accept in our conversation.

I hung up the phone and went back to the horse shoe section of the jail and watched TV. After dinner and shift change, I lay down on a bench because I was tired and frustrated.

An officer escorted me to the quarter deck to a room where I was able to use a telephone again to make sure Mr. Key was going to come to bail me out.

The room is 15-foot by 20-foot room, a cell with bars and a steel bench along one wall, and a phone mounted on the wall.

Urinating on floor

The male officer left me in the room. He was so long in coming back  I fell asleep on the bench. An undetermined length of time later, I woke up and had to use the bathroom.

Outside of the bars is a hallway with an elevator at the end of it. No officer or staff person was in the hallway to call for assistance.

There were no toilet facilities. I urinated on the floor in the corner of wall on which the bench was mounted.

I went back to sleep.

Officers entered and woke me about 5:50 and escorted me to room No. 8. Again, I fell asleep.

‘You’re still going to Silverdale’

A female officer an hour later came into the room, helped me to my feet, took my left arm and escorted me to the quarter deck, explaining to me that I was being escorted to Silverdale.

“Why am I going to Silverdale and my bond has been made?” I asked.

“Well, Mr. Moore,” she said, “you’re still going to Silverdale

I said, “Please explain to me why I am going to Silverdale because my bond has been made.”

I have a bullet in my neck from a Jan. 29, 2019, shooting at 779 W. Main St. in which I was injured and my fiancee, Bernice Williams, was killed.

Injury at hand of Deputy Carson

While I am going up the steps, a black officer named Mr. Carson took me from the female officer and said, “C’mon, you’re goin’ to Silverdale.”

He picked me up from my right side, putting me off balance, slammed face down upon the concrete floor. He had had his arm in my armpit, pulling my arm backward, which forced me to bend over frontwards and fall the floor.

Landing face down on the floor, I cried out, “I have a bullet in my neck and you know I am disabled.”

Officer Carson put his knee on my neck, which on a pain level of 1 to 10 was a 10.

After was slammed on to the floor, another man said calmly, “Mr. Moore, you are going to have to Silverdale.”

Visit to hospital after release

Deputies took me to Silverdale.

I was released the next day, May 16, around 6 p.m. That’s 13 hours since I had made bond, roughly at 1:15 p.m. the day before

I was in so much pain that I took myself to Parkridge Medical Center on McCallie Avenue, the emergency room, where I explained what had happened. The doctors said I needed to have a  CT scan of my head and right side, which was done.

A doctor said, “Mr. Moore, there’s no broken bones, but you do have what’s called a cervical strain that is not caused by an accident.” My neck was swollen, and they gave me muscle relaxers to take between two and four times a day for pain. They said put hot rags on my neck to make the swelling go down, and recommended a followup with my primary care physician.

Further affiant saith not.

I swear the above and foregoing representations are true and correct to the best of my information, knowledge and belief.

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