2 Tennessee officers charged after inmate was punched

July 1, 2022 GMT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Two former Tennessee prison officers have been charged with writing false reports after one of them hit an inmate, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Former Tennessee Department of Correction tactical officers Javian Griffin, 36, and Sebron Hollands, 32, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Memphis, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Griffin was charged with using unlawful force against an inmate at Northwest Correctional Complex in Tiptonville, located about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north of Memphis. The indictment alleges Griffin punched an inmate in the face at the state prison on June 13, 2020.

Griffin and Hollands also were charged with obstruction of justice, prosecutors said. The pair made reports claiming the inmate became combative and charged toward Griffin, when the inmate had not actually done so, the indictment said.

The reports also omitted that Griffin punched and injured the inmate, the indictment said.

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If convicted, Griffin could face up to 30 years in prison. Hollands could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

A lawyer listed in online court records for Griffin did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday. No lawyer was listed for Hollands in the records.