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City Alderman accuses county jailer of unjustly tasing disabled son

by Bradly Gill | December 15, 2021 at 5:00 a.m.

By Bradly Gill

News Editor

The family of a Camden man who was tased while in custody of the Ouachita County Detention Center says they are seeking answers.

Jean Burton, 37, of Camden was charged with third-degree domestic battery and on Oct. 23 was tased while in OCDC.

According to police records, on Oct. 23, OCSD deputies were called out to a residence on Highway 24 on a report of a subject sitting on his porch shooting towards the highway.

Upon arrival, a deputy found a shotgun leaning on the residence's door frame and shotgun shells on the ground, as well as four spent casings from a handgun.

According to police, while speaking with deputies, Burton became "irate and uncooperative."

A woman at the residence also alleged that she and Burton had a physical altercation, where he was verbally abusive, threw a glass at the wall, shattering it, and tore her shirt.

Burton was taken into custody, where according to deputies, he "he had been violent and disorderly."

A report of the incident states that Burton was tased "due to the fact that he was hindering officers and dispatchers' job" and that his "aggressive actions of swinging his arms wildly" was taken as a threat.

A taser report filed by OCSD says that Burton was tased once and then complied with police.

Burton's father, Joe Askew, who is also a Camden City Council member, addressed the Ouachita County Quorum Court at its December meeting.

"On October 23, my son and his wife got into it. It was a domestic dispute. One of your sheriff's deputies was dispatched out and my son, he ended up going to jail for third-degree battery," Askew said. "While he was out there in jail, my son got tased by one of the jailers. I want to give you a background on my son: he's no angel, but he is a disabled vet. He's a paraplegic. He's paralyzed from the waist down and between 10 (p.m.) and 12 (a.m.) that night he was tased."

Askew said he met with his Justice of the Peace, Fred Lilly Sr, who arranged a meeting with Sheriff David Norwood about the incident. Askew said that he received a number of reports from the Sheriff as well as a thumb drive containing videos, but has not received video of the tasing incident.

Askew told the Quorum Court, "I thought it was a good meeting with the sheriff. I appreciate him for meeting with me."

Nevertheless, Askew claims that an injustice occurred and the tasing was the result of a "pissed off jailer."

Norwood told the Camden News that the use of force was within department guidelines and no disciplinary or other actions were taken against the jailer.

OSCD's policy states "Detention Officer will use the minimum amount of non-deadly force necessary to maintain the security and control of detainees, and to prevent incident from escalating into an emergency."

"I found absolutely nothing that anyone in this department did wrong," Norwood said.

Norwood also stated that there was no footage of the tasing due to an antiquated video system which is currently being replaced in the jail.

Askew asked the Quorum Court's subcommittee on police action to review the packet he presented with incident reports and the thumb drive and investigate the tasing.

County Judge Robert McAdoo told the Camden News that the committee would possibly submit their findings at the next Quorum Court meeting.

Print Headline: City Alderman accuses county jailer of unjustly tasing disabled son


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