Video shows alleged police brutality by former Savannah sergeant

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SAVANNAH, Tenn. — Shocking surveillance video surfaces from a 2013 DUI arrest in Savannah showing alleged police brutality by former policeman Tim Kelley. The woman in the video, who asked not to be identified for her own safety, said when she was arrested she refused to allow her blood to be drawn out of fear of needles. “I’m absolutely terrified of needles,” she said. “I have a really bad reaction. I usually pass out or throw up.” She said Sgt. Kelley threw her to the ground, leaving her bruised and bloody. “All I remember was like a flash of being grabbed and thrown on the ground, and when I came up, there was blood pouring out of my mouth.” The former inmate said she thought multiple people were attacking her. “I actually thought it was two to three people that did it to me because it happened so fast. I thought they were standing behind me,” she said. The woman in the video said being slammed against the concrete caused severe damage to her front teeth. “Then I spit out a piece of my broken tooth. He asked for a paper towel to wipe off my mouth because I was bleeding profusely.” She said she never filed a complaint because of advice from a now former attorney. She also said she only saw the video a few days ago. Savannah Police Chief Gary Will said because no complaint is on record, the department did now know the incident occurred. Will said he sent the video for review to the district attorney general. However, no criminal charges will be filed. “If there was anything criminal, the statute of limitations has run out and as far as any internal, he no longer works for us,” he said. According to his personnel file, Kelley was fired in early February for sleeping on the job and other offenses. Will said the former sergeant and inmate struggled throughout the arrest and while she was taken into custody. “When she was arrested, she was able to get out of her handcuffs and crawl through the partition,” he said. Will admitted the altercation between Kelley and the inmate should have been handled differently. “Force was authorized. Should he have taken her immediately to the ground? I’m going to say no. Other options should have been explored first,” he said. Will said the video will be used in future training sessions at the department.

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