‘Innocent until proven guilty:’ Petition calls for Sheriff Victor Hill to be reinstated after federal indictment

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Governor Brian Kemp may have suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill after he was indicted on federal civil rights violations, but it appears many in the community don’t agree with that decision.

The indictment involves allegations first reported by Channel 2 Action News. It alleges abuses involving a restraint chair in the Clayton County Jail, with several victims.

[RELATED: Read the indictment against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill]

Earlier this month, a commission formed by Gov. Kemp tasked by state law with determining whether or not Sheriff Hill should be allowed to remain in office while his case is investigated recommended he be suspended. The governor accepted their recommendation and suspended Hill.

Now, nearly 1,300 residents are showing their support for Sheriff Hill by signing a petition calling for him to be reinstated for the time being.

“We the voters of Clayton County and those who seek fairness and justice for its citizens, are sending this letter of concern on behalf of all Clayton County residents and families,” the petition reads.

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The writers of the petition say that allegations made against the sheriff cannot overshadow the successes he has seen while in the office.

“We the voters of Clayton County, demand that Sheriff Hill remains in office. Sheriff Hill has unquestionably been a true visionary for innovative change both in and out of Clayton County and we are lucky to have him,” it states.

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They also say because they elected him, they should be the ones to determine whether or not he remains in office, not the governor’s appointed commission.

“We, as members of the community, civil servants, parents, voters of the Clayton County and concerned citizens, are signing this letter in support of Victor Hill’s reinstatement as county sheriff—the position to which he was elected by the people.”