A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was accused of assaulting three jail inmates in Compton and Los Angeles was acquitted Friday of a series of felonies, but jurors convicted him of three misdemeanor assault counts.
Jermaine W. Jackson, 38, was acquitted of three felony counts each of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and filing a false report. He was also acquitted of two felony counts of assault by a public officer and two counts of misdemeanor simple assault. The jury convicted Jackson of three other counts of misdemeanor simple assault.
Jurors have not yet reached a verdict on the remaining felony count of assault by a public officer. After the verdicts were read, one juror had to be dismissed due to a time constraint, so an alternate juror was brought in and the panel was ordered by a judge to resume deliberating on that single count. Jurors are due back in court Monday to continue their deliberations.
Jackson was accused of assaulting three inmates — Cesar Campana, Derek Griscavage and Jonathan Murray — in separate incidents between 2009 and 2011.
During the trial, Jackson took the stand and and admitted to punching Murray in the eye when “he tried to kick me in the groin.”
Jackson also agreed that he punched Campana in the ear and kicked him in the head, saying that was the only way he could control the inmate.
Griscavage head-butted the deputy during a physical encounter, Jackson said.
Jurors convicted Jackson of misdemeanor charges involving his interactions with Campana and Griscavage, but are still deliberating on one felony count involving Campana. The jury acquitted him of all counts involving Murray.
Defense attorney Vicki Podberesky argued during the trial that Jackson used reasonable force to protect himself and others, but Deputy District Attorney Ann Marie Wise contended that Jackson “likes to use his fists.”
“Deputy Jackson solves problems in the jail with his fists” and then “filed false reports … to justify his actions,” wise argued.
Podberesky showed jurors a chart with a sheriff’s department logo illustrating the range of legally defensible options in dealing with inmates, depending on whether they are cooperative or assaultive.
The chart advises deputies dealing with assaultive inmates that they have several options, including using a Taser, a K-9 partner, carotid restraint or choking, less lethal weapons and “personal weapons,” like fists.
Jackson has been relieved of duty without pay by the sheriff’s department.
— City News Service