Houston & Peach

Fort Valley woman says she’s a victim of police brutality; GBI asked to investigate

India Martin, 22, of Fort Valley, says Fort Valley police Lt. Antoine Jordan pushed her and caused her to fall and hit her head at the Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health. The GBI is investigating, and Jordan is on administrative leave.
India Martin, 22, of Fort Valley, says Fort Valley police Lt. Antoine Jordan pushed her and caused her to fall and hit her head at the Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health. The GBI is investigating, and Jordan is on administrative leave.

A 22-year-old woman has alleged police brutality against a Fort Valley police officer who arrested her on a misdemeanor battery charge early Saturday.

India Martin, of Fort Valley, alleged that Lt. Antoinne Jordan pushed her in a hallway at the Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health, and caused her to fall. The six-foot hallway is between the emergency doors and the nurses desk, she said.

“We got about two feet in the door and he squeezed my arm really hard, and I jerked it away, and at that point, he pushed me from behind, and I fell probably about three our four feet and hit the corner of the wall,” Martin said. “And that’s where my head was busted open and my nose was busted.”

Martin also alleged that Jordan handled her roughly, causing bruises to her arms, and that he placed handcuffs on her incorrectly while she was in the patrol car.

“I have cuts and blisters on my hands from where they (the police cuffs) rubbed me raw,” she said. “I was begging him, telling him, ‘Please will you fix these handcuffs?’ ”

Peach County sheriff Terry Deese said he asked the GBI to investigate after concerns raised by his jail staff over the weekend.

When an “extremely intoxicated” Martin arrived at the jail at 7:20 a.m., she had visible bruising. But when she returned from the hospital at 8:15 a.m., she had the injury to her head, Deese said.

Martin was taken to the hospital for evaluation because she had threatened to hurt herself, Deese said. Since Martin not yet in the custody of the sheriff’s office, the Fort Valley police officer took her back and forth from the hospital, Deese said.

“When I got to the jail, I was crying, I was really upset, and I had a bad gash on my foot, and the people at the sheriff’s department said they couldn’t take me like that. So officer Jordan had to take me to the hospital,” Martin said.

“And he kept trying to like push them to just go ahead and put me in jail and it wasn’t until the nurse came out and told him ... they couldn’t take me like that ... that he had to take me to the hospital and that’s when he started getting more rough. He started grabbing my arms more hard than he already was. He was like pulling ‘em up on my back, twisting my arm and squeezing me really hard,” Martin said.

Martin told jail staff that the officer had caused the injury. She was interviewed by a sheriff’s investigator while in jail.

Martin said she was arrested by Fort Valley police at her grandmother’s home where she also lives after she and her ex-fiance got into both a verbal and physical argument.

Martin acknowledged that she was intoxicated, having been at The Humingbird Stage and Taproom earlier with friends. Her ex-fiance had offered to give her a ride home and they’d stopped to eat before reaching her grandmother’s home.

Martin said she and her ex-fiance got in an argument that turned physical when he refused to leave her grandmother’s home. Both Martin and her ex-fiance called police, she said. He was not charged, she said.

After she was released from jail on a $1,850 property bond, Martin said she posted pictures of her injuries on Facebook to let people know what happened to her.

Fort Valley Public Safety Director Lawrence Spurgeon said Jordan was placed on paid administrative leave Tuesday for the duration of the investigation. Spurgeon declined to say whether or not he thought his officer was at fault, saying he wanted to remain neutral and objective.

Martin thinks that Jordan should be fired by Fort Valley police and that he should not be able to work as a law enforcement officer in the future.

Jordan has been with Fort Valley police for about four to five years. He previously worked for Fort Valley State University, Spurgeon said.

GBI special agent J.T. Ricketson said the investigation into the woman’s fall is in its early stages, with the investigator expected to pull surveillance video from the hospital. The officer’s patrol car will also be checked to for possible video, Ricketson said.

Becky Purser: 478-256-9559, @BecPurser

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the first name of Antoinne Jordan.

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