TUPELO – A federal judge Wednesday dismissed a former inmate’s federal lawsuit claiming he was injured while he was in the Lee County jail.
Senior U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers agreed with Magistrate Judge Jerry A. Davis’ recommendation on Bobby Edward Walker’s case, noting the issues cannot come up again.
The two-year-old lawsuit sought $1.5 million in damages for injuries Walker claimed to have received during a jail “lock down,” for excessive use of force and denial of medical care.
Walker sued Sheriff Jim Johnson, a jail nurse, a sergeant, then-Tupelo Police Chief Harold Chaffin, other sheriff’s employees, the Lee County supervisors, then-jail administrator Tony Carleton and the Sheriff’s Department.
A year ago, the supervisors were released as defendants, as was Chaffin when he retired from his post.
Davis heard testimony about the allegations during an evidentiary hearing April 28.
During the proceeding, with Walker acting as his own legal counsel, he asked one sheriff’s employee – a muscular young man – “Do you know they call you Robo-Cop?” It got a laugh from the people in Davis’ courtroom.
In his July 27 dismissal recommendation, Davis wrote that Walker “failed to prove that he was subjected to excessive use of force” or that he received injuries or that his serious medical needs “were met with deliberate indifference.”
During the April hearing, psychiatrist Dr. Mark Webb said that since the 1990s, Walker has suffered from psychological disorders, including paranoid schizophrenia. He said Walker clearly suffers from psychosis and is subject to delusions.
Despite Walker’s objections to Davis’ report, Biggers agreed and closed the case.
Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal