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Mother of battered inmate speaks out

(WCJB)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 7:17 PM EDT
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On April 28, Detention Officer Jerome Ulrich entered an inmate's cell and beat him.

"I know that my son committed charges that's why he's in jail but give him his day in court to beat him I don't think that was right not when you are an officer that has sworn to uphold the law," said the inmate's mom Jennifer Littles.

The inmate was Joseph Combs, who has been in jail since October 5, facing a variety of charges including homicide and sexual assault.

He's awaiting trial.

Activist Danielle Chanzes said, "We are all equal here and we need to be treated as equals and nobody is above the law not even the people who call themselves the law."

The detention officer was arrested in Levy County and charged with battery, obstructing justice and tampering with a witness.

He is now out on bond.

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell declined to interview.

But, Alachua County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Art Forgey says she should be releasing a video on the topic today at some point.

"Sheriff Darnell has made it quite clear that she has a zero-tolerance policy and that she's not going to tolerate that and that every one of them, most of them are our friends, our neighbors, and maybe relatives people that live within the community," he said. "We serve that are there awaiting trial and have not been convicted of anything and we are not going to tolerate any abuse of their rights."

Littles says she will not be silent any longer.

"Joe is not the first," she said. "I think I'm just the first mom that's not going to sit back and allow him to do this and I hope although Joe is not the first appraiser, he is the last."

You can find the full video of what happened as the second video attached to this article.