Video Shows Cumberland County Jail Guard ‘Hand Chopping’ Restrained Inmate’s Throat
BRIDGETON— A former Cumberland County Jail inmate who filed a lawsuit claiming a corrections officer attacked him can be seen in a newly released security video being hit by the guard.
The video was recorded in February 2015 while the inmate, Raheem Jacobs, was being beaten by six corrections officers, according to a federal lawsuit that Jacobs filed March 18 against the county.
Jacobs at the time was being held while awaiting trial for weapons charges, obstruction, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.
Jacobs' extensive criminal record continued after this incident in the jail. He was charged later that year with a summer drive-by shooting death of a Bridgeton man. A year earlier, he was charged with having a stolen submachine gun in his car.
His lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims that his civil rights were violated on February 25, 2015, when he went to take a shower after getting involved in a physical altercation with another inmate. Five corrections officers searched through Jacobs' personal items, clothing and papers while he was showering.
Jacobs' then returned from his shower and began to collect his scattered items when, the lawsuit alleges, the officers "hand-chopped" Jacobs' throat, threw him to the ground, stood on his back and pummeled and kneed his body, causing Jacobs to temporarily lose consciousness.
The video obtained by WKXW-FM shows that Jacobs was restrained, with another officer holding both his hands behind his back, when Officer Mike Williams punches him.
Scheergie Nicolas, an employee of the law office Jacobs hired, filed an Open Public Records Act on March 11, 2015 with the Cumberland County Correctional Facility to obtain video, emails and officer complaints related to the alleged assault.
Not seen in the video, the lawsuit claims that Jacobs' was then led to elevator doors and was punched, struck and kicked by six officers.
All of the officers have been disciplined, but Williams is being charged criminally for assault, Warden Bob Balicki told NJ Advance Media.
The county denied all charges in the lawsuit in a response filed on April 5.