Deputy forces pregnant inmate down

Deputy forces pregnant inmate down

A Saline County deputy shoves a pregnant inmate onto a concrete bench after she refuses to cooperate with staff.

SALINE COUNTY, AR - In jail surveillance video obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, a deputy forces a pregnant inmate onto a concrete bench inside a Saline County jail cell.

"I didn't send you an invitation but you're in my house and you will abide by my rules," said Sheriff Bruce Pennington on his jail operations.

Sheriff Pennington says using force is a last resort and it is only used when a deputy is prompted. The video shows the inmate, Frelandra Womack, having some sort of conversation through the window of the cell before beating on the door three separate times. That's when the jailer enters with three other deputies to help hold her down.

"It's not like we jump in with slappers and start hurting people," said Sheriff Pennington. "We have a certain protocol that we do from verbal to hands on and hands on is the last thing."

The Saline County Jail's day-to-day operations depend on a level of mutual respect between inmates and deputies. If anyone throws that off the balance, Sheriff Pennington says it's the jailer's responsibility to restore order using whatever means necessary.

"You disrespect my people, here's what's going to happen," he said.

Womack is later strapped into a restraint chair but manages to almost escape it before deputies restrain her again.

"They're not back there because they were singing too loud in church," said Sheriff Pennington. "They committed a crime or an offense to be back there."

No formal complaint was filed in this case so the jail is not conducting an investigation into the deputy's behavior.

Womack was in jail on multiple charges: driving on suspended rights, disorderly conduct, expired tags and obstructing governmental operations.

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