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Hung jury in trial of Cheatham County jailer accused of tasing inmate strapped to a restraint chair

Lawsuit Questions Taser Use
Posted at 3:47 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-08 16:51:00-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The trial of a former Cheatham County jailer charged with tasing an inmate who was strapped to a restraint chair has ended with a hung jury.

Former Corporal Mark Bryant was charged with using excessive force and obstruction of justice for tasing 18 year old Jordan Norris in 2016.

After a week long trial in federal court the jury could not agree on a verdict.

Video of the tasing first obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates went viral.

Norris was inside the jail after being arrested on drug charges in November of 2016.

The indictment against Bryant claimed he used a taser to stun Norris four times for a total of approximately 50 seconds while he was in a restraint chair.

It claimed in a second incident that occurred the same night, Bryant tased Norris for approximately 11 seconds with "no legitimate justification" after the Norris was placed in handcuffs and surrounded by multiple officers.

The indictment further claimed Bryant obstructed justice by submitting false reports about both incidents.

A former Cheatham County Sergeant Gary Ola has already pleaded guilty to making false statements to investigators about the incident.

Ola has not yet been sentenced.

Initially Cheatham County Sheriff Mike Breedlove defended his officers and said they followed policy, but after seeing the video in our report he agreed there should be an investigation.

Norris had multiple burn marks on his body after the tasing.

Norris died in March of last year so he did not testify at the trial.

An autopsy stated the cause of death was a suspected overdose.

His family believes the tasing incident left him battling anxiety and played a role in his death.

No word on whether the U.S. Attorney will re-try the case.