Questions for Sheriff Payne

On the evening of February 6, 2006, Jesse Lee Williams Jr was arrested by the Gulfport Police Department for misdemeanor charges of point and aim, public drunkenness and simple assault on a minor. He was taken to the Harrison County Adult Detention Center for booking. At 10:30pm, there was an altercation between Williams and two of the booking officers. At 6:00am on February 7, 2006, Williams was reported dead due to a cranial hemorrhage. The autopsy report showed that Williams was not under the influence of drugs and was at the legal limit for alcohol.

Does the simple failure of an inmate to not go back in line justify him ending up dead? No, it doesn't. The following are the notes of one of the nurses present at the booking center:

Here is a transcript of the nurse's notes on the condition and treatment of Jessie L. Williams Jr. when he was brought in to the Harrison County jail on Feb. 4, 2006. Some of the abbreviations used in the notes have been modified to make it easier to read:
22:30 - In booking had an altercation with officers. Tazed to left side. Blood from lip, continued to be combative and officers placed inmate in restraint chair.
23:00 - Inmate seen in booking where officer had placed in restraint chair. Inmate alert, non coherent, intoxicated, or crack cocaine. Respirations shallow, rapid, unable to take blood pressure at this time. Eyes are uncrossed, reactive to light, red, irritated from pepper spray that officers had used after inmate was put in restraint chair. Noted officer yelling at inmate and telling him he would kill him in profanity used by officer.
Inmate was rocking in chair and officer returned to inmate in restraint chair and grabbed him by the throat and started choking inmate. Inmate couldn't breathe from use of force so he started kicking his leg in attempt to get officers off of him or to move. When his kicking his legs touched officer, the officer started punching inmate in the chest and abdomen area five or six times full force.
Imate had spit bag in his face, covered in blood from beating to face and head area. Noted small laceration on right ear and noted bleeding from both ears. Unable to identify Taser marks on the inmate as he is being restrained.
No noted profanity from inmate and no disrespect at this time. Inmate mumbling and repeating words and phrases that make no sense. His lip busted from blow to face from officer.
2300 continued - Upon observing this use of force (a nurse) yelled out (officer's) name to attempt to stop him from mistreating inmate. When officer didn't stop, nurse walked out of booking and stated to (another) nurse that what the officer did wasn't right and that she'd better leave and go home before she loses her job from saying something to the officer.
On evaluation of the inmate, he mumbled "he was all right" and just wanted to lay down. Inmate's head was extended back and eyes closed in chair. At that time, officer went to cold water fountain, obtained a cup of cold water and then poured it on inmate in the face and stated, "Oops, don't drown."
23:30 - Call from booking to have nurses return. Inmate passed out, not responding to ammonia inhaler. Eyes are red, swollen, pupils non reactive to light, not responding to verbal or tactile stimulus. Bleeding from ears but remains in restraint chair and handcuffed, hands behind back, belts to legs and cuffs to ankles attached to restraint chair. Call placed to AMR to transport to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport for evaluation.
23:45 - AMR here to transport...
01:30 (Feb. 5) - Call from hospital states that inmate is in trauma room No. 14 and is being intubated, stated nurse will call and give report after assessment and care given.
02:30 - Call placed to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport report from nurse at hospital to nurse at HALLC that inmate was going to surgery in attempt to stop subdural bleeding. Will give report after surgery.
06:00 - Call placed to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport ICU. No. 14 requested report on inmate. Nurse at MHG reported that bleeding could not be stopped and so cranium was closed, inmate in coma. Pupils fixed and dilated. MHG stated that family was notified. Spoke to (a) deputy and confirmed report was given to (another officer).Sunherald

This is police brutality and cruelty. There is no question in my mind about it. Williams was in a restraint chair, tazers had been used, and yet the booking officer choked him, then proceeded to beat Williams up.

Sheriff Payne, you were elected to uphold the law. I have yet to see any reports of any punishment for your officers that were involved in this man's murder. When are you going to uphold the rights of Jesse Lee Williams Jr? Swift justice is demanded. When are we going to see it?


Blogger MissingLink said...

And so what really happened?
Have you heard anything new about it?

4:46 PM  
Anonymous seawitch said...


there have been a few stories about it. Some say the deputy slammed Williams head against a cement wall twice. But the nurse's notes tell a lot. The guy was basically restrained in a chair and the deputy beat him.

The people who are investigating are not releasing very much information and refuse to release some tapes about it.

7:14 PM  

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