Sheriff Jail Web Cam Back Online
By Keith Burton - GCN
It didn't take long. A day after GCN reported that the Harrison County Sheriff's web cam in the jail's booking room was offline, the service was restored Wednesday. Officials said the camera was down for "maintenance" but GCN had noticed that the camera has been intermittently off and on for at least two weeks and would see only a black image instead of the live camera picture (photo right).
The camera was set up by Sheriff George Payne after the beating death of Jesse Lee Williams inside the jail's booking room. Williams, who had been arrested on minor charges by Gulfport Police, died from the booking room beating, Feb. 6, two days after a beating allegedly from a jail deputy.
While the camera usually shows very little going on, the technicians designed the presentation so that users cannot save the images displayed on their home or office computers. The images are also poor and the faces nearly impossible to recognize as the image resolution is not very good. Still, the web cam at the jail does provide some idea of what is going on in the room. Visitors to the camera, which is linked from the Harrison County Sheriff's website, are limited to 30 minutes of viewing or less depending on the traffic.
Nearly five months have passed since the beating of Williams, which was observed by witnesses and cameras, and there has yet to be an arrest in the case. Williams' death was ruled a homicide by the Harrison County Coroner, and a deputy who was under investigation for the beating left the department with no official explanation.