JONESBORO, Georgia – The Clayton County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating a racially motivated murder that took place at the Clayton County Jail on Sunday. The incident involved an inmate allegedly beating his cellmate to death due to the color of his skin, according to Sheriff Levon Allen’s press release on Monday. The victim’s identity has not been disclosed.
The accused inmate, Jaquez Jackson, has been charged with murder, malice murder, aggravated assault, and starting a penal riot. He had a history of charges related to misdemeanors, including simple battery, simple assault, criminal trespass, making terroristic threats, and obstruction of an officer. Jackson had been sentenced to five years, but his probation was revoked, leading to his incarceration at the Clayton County Jail.
The Sheriff’s office has called for assistance from the Clayton County Medical Examiner’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to aid in the investigation. This tragic incident occurred amidst previous calls for a federal civil rights investigation into the treatment of inmates at the Clayton County Jail. This call was made by U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, who expressed concerns about reports of troubling conditions and preventable deaths in the jail.
The murder also follows the prosecution of former Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill for violating the civil rights of jail detainees. There have been ongoing efforts to improve conditions at the Clayton County Jail, with more than $5 million allocated for upgrades and a request for an additional $6.5 million to expand the jail’s capacity.
It is evident that this incident has raised serious concerns about the treatment and safety of inmates in the Clayton County Jail. With ongoing investigations and efforts to enhance conditions in the jail, it is crucial to ensure accountability and prevent further tragedies from occurring. The Sheriff’s office and the Board of Commissions continue to work towards improvements, but there remains a pressing need to address the overcrowding and safety issues in the facility.