David Yager, 30, a former jail sergeant at the Van Zandt County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office, was sentenced today to 42 months in prison for using unlawful force on a jail detainee and violating his civil rights.

Court documents show that Yager pleaded guilty and admitted that he assaulted detainee M.H. on or around Feb. 28, 2021, by punching him in the chest with a taser while holding down the trigger, even though M.H. was not a threat to anyone.

Yager admitted that M.H. was strapped to a restraint chair when Yager attacked him. Yager also admitted that he caused bodily injury to M.H. and that he knew there was no legal reason to use force on him. “This defendant betrayed his oath and his badge by assaulting and injuring a fully restrained detainee,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division.

“The Justice Department will continue to prosecute detention officers and others who use unlawful force against detainees.” U.S. Attorney Damien M. Diggs for the Eastern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge B. Chad Yarbrough of the FBI Dallas Field Office also condemned Yager’s actions and affirmed their commitment to protect the civil rights of citizens.

The FBI Dallas Field Office investigated the case.

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