San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office announces investigation into jail incident

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STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow announced a protocol investigation into an incident in which a man was left bruised and bloody following some type of altercation with correctional officers at the county jail.

The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, along with detectives from the sheriff’s office and the Stockton Police Department, will now lead the investigation into finding out what happened in that holding cell.

On Thursday afternoon, the sheriff’s office released surveillance video showing Jacob Servin in the jail. That came days after he accused three correctional officers of brutally beating him.

The video does not include audio because medical questions are often asked in the booking process, the sheriff said.

Sacramento based attorney Mark Reichel told FOX40 audio could have helped in the investigation.

"There must be audio somewhere else there. Additionally, there must be overhearing when they pick up the radio, that's picked up by other radios. It must be recorded somewhere, you would imagine. These are really, really important things," Reichel said.

In the video, two officers walk Servin back to a holding cell where there are no cameras.

An hour later, he was covered in blood. He told FOX40 he had a broken nose, a swollen face and bruises all over his body as he was escorted out of the cell by five officers.

Withrow said Servin, arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, was taken to a holding cell after refusing to answer questions. There, Withrow said Servin became combative with officers.

However, Servin told FOX40 on Wednesday that three officers beat him with their batons and fists. He added that some officers used racist language.

“They forcefully take me to a disclosed area where it was away from intake and that's where they held me down by my feet, held me down by my hands, beat me to a pulp,” Servin said earlier this week. “One by one they choked me. They put my head backwards like this behind the chair. I thought my neck was going to snap.”

Sheriff Withrow said officers had to fight off Servin for their own safety after he began attacking a female officer.

But after backlash on social media following the release of the surveillance video, the sheriff invoked the protocol investigation in what he said was in the interest of full transparency.

“We want to make sure that they have confidence that the law enforcement here in San Joaquin County is going to behave properly and treat citizens right,” Withrow told reporters Friday. “Treat their children and loved one right if we have to have contact with them. So, we just decide the best way to do that is to get some fresh eyes on it and make sure that the truth comes out.”

“At this point, there are no charges pending because we’re really in the beginning phases,” said San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. “It will probably be a couple months before we have a final determination as to what has occurred.”

But Reichel said there are many unanswered questions.

"If someone makes a decision that they don’t want to answer medical screening questions, there can be no reason that the punishment is a physical assault," he told FOX40. "Now, why in that room he was uncuffed? I don't understand because he wasn't being released from custody. I don't know how uncuffing someone can help in answering medical screening questions."

Reichel said proper law enforcement techniques should not result in such injuries.

"First of all, he has horrific injuries. We don't see those kind of injuries that often where you have the blood pooling in the eyes," Reichel said.

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