Creola police officer charged with beating inmate

Gary Lynn Davis.
Gary Lynn Davis.(Mobile County Metro Jail)
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 2:08 PM CDT
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CREOLA, Ala. (WALA) – Alabama state troopers on Friday arrested a police officer on charges that he assaulted an inmate in the city lockup.

A Mobile County grand jury indicted Gary Lynn Davis, 54, of Creola, on charges of second- and third-degree assault. His LinkedIn account lists him as the assistant police chief for the city, but Police Chief Frank Hammond said he was the senior officer, not the assistant chief.

Mobile County Chief Assistant District Attorney Keith Blackwood described the charges.

“The indictment alleges that the officer used a rope to choke the inmate,” he said. “He also struck the inmate, kicked him, shoved down to the ground. And that’s why a grand jury indicted him within the last couple of weeks.”

Davis got out of jail Friday afternoon after posting $21,000 bond. Reached at his house, he declined to comment. Hammond said the city fired Davis on Monday.

The alleged incident occurred on April 21. Hammond said when he received the complaint, he immediately turned it over to the State Bureau of Investigation.

“We don’t like to investigate ourselves,” he said.

Blackwood said the alleged victim was in the city lockup after a drug arrest and active warrants. Hammond said he had been in the jail for three or four days.

Hammond said Davis has been on the force for about five months but had a previous stint with the department and has been in law enforcement for about 22 years. He said he is not aware of any other allegations of excessive force that have been alleged against him.

“Very sad,” the chief said. “You know, we don’t condone any officer or citizen, anyone being mistreated. We try to treat people like they like to be treated, treat their families like we want out families to be treated. It’s just sad when you hear this.”

Blackwood said criminal wrongdoing by law enforcement officers is rare but must bee addressed when it does occur.

“The vast majority of our police are very good, but there’s no special exception for a police officer that allows them to break the law,” he said. “And in this case, a grand jury believed that that he did. And so, they issued the indictment. It’s not something that any of us like to do, but it’s necessary to hold even our police accountable for violation of any kind of law.”

Davis faces two counts – second-degree assault, which is a Class C felony punishable by one to 10 years in prison; and third-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. A jury would decide with charge – if either – applies.

Updated at 4:37 p.m. with additional comments from prosecutor Keith Blackwood and Police Chief Frank Hammond.

FOX10 News reporter Tyler Fingert contributed to this report.