A woman who took to social media last year with claims of police brutality at the hands of a Fort Valley officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to kicking one of the cops who booked her in jail.
Two days after her Sept. 23, 2017, arrest on a charge of family violence, India Margaret Martin posted on Facebook pictures of a gash on her head that had been sutured with staples.
The 22-year-old wrote in the post that “#policebrutality is NOT always white on black crime. I’m going to personally ask EVERYONE to share this post. This happened at the Fort Valley Police Department by an officer Jordan who LIED to my mother about how this occurred …”
The post was commented on and shared more than 300 times.
The GBI was called to investigate and agents found there was not enough evidence to back up Martin’s claims.
Months later, in early December, the case was cleared by the District Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.
The officer Martin’s post referred to, Lt. Antoinne Jordan, resigned from the department. When asked if the resignation was related to Martin’s case, Valley Public Safety Director Lawrence Spurgeon said, “Not in particular.”
Martin was indicted March 6 on charges including battery and both felony and misdemeanor obstruction of another officer. The indictment said Martin kicked, fought and resisted detective Jerrell Smith, who was helping Jordan book her in the Peach County jail.
Martin pleaded guilty in Peach County Superior Court on Wednesday to the felony obstruction charge and was sentenced to 5 years on probation, participation in alcohol and drug treatment plus 120 hours of community service, according to the district attorney’s office.
Spurgeon said late afternoon Wednesday that he is “happy the truth came out.”
Because of Martin’s post, the officers were “convicted (and) found guilty before any investigation began,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the times we’re in and the power that social media has. ... (People are) outright lying and making stuff up … and people just take it and run with it without thinking of the serious consequences.”