Marion County inmate death raises questions about conditions at the jail

Some people in Marion County say the violence may be part of a pattern
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 9:46 PM EST
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - 46-year-old Scott Whitley III is dead after Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies hit him with a stun gun six times.

The incident occurred at the Marion County jail when deputies say Whitley refused to comply with a routine cell check.

Officials say it took six deputies to restrain Whitley after he refused to be handcuffed.

Deputies then used pepper foam and the stun gun on him.

They then removed him from his cell and discovered he was not breathing.

Some residents in Marion County said this incident is more likely to be part of a pattern of treatment at the jail than a one time thing.

“I unfortunately know of people who have been incarcerated in that jail and it’s just really bad,” said Victoria Perez. “They say it’s very dirty and if they feel sick or something there’s no aid. It’s just a really, really bad place to be...It’s inhumane I would say. They basically get treated worse than animals, worse than dogs.”

“I have waited in the visitors area and the treatments is horrible,” said Zaimar Muniz. “I’m not going to generalize because it’s not fair, but correctional officers in the prison are not the nicest and sometimes we have to wait for 10 hours to see our family members.”

Muniz believes the jail should have more surveillance so that deputies can be held accountable.

“Just to know that our family members, our children that are in prison are safe,” said Muniz. “It is our tax paying dollars, we want to know where it’s going.”

Whitley had been in jail on charges of resisting an officer with violence.

The deputies involved in the incidents have been placed on suspension without pay.

TV 20 reached out to Marion County Sheriff’s Office for comment but they were unable to as the investigation is still ongoing.

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