June 17, 2022

Former Simpson Co. official sentenced for pepper spraying a woman at courthouse

Darkhorse Press

Tommy Joe Harvey, the former Chancery Clerk of Simpson County, was sentenced to 2 years’ probation and a $5,000 fine for depriving a person of their civil rights under color of law, announced U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jackson Field Office.

Tommy Joe Harvey, 74, was the Simpson County Chancery Clerk from 2004 through May 31 of this year. According to court documents, on April 28, 2017, a woman was in court for a child custody hearing. During the hearing, the woman became upset and left the courtroom before the hearing was over. She was ordered back to the courtroom, and Harvey overheard the disruption. Moments later, Harvey found the woman in her vehicle which was parked across the street.

Harvey told one of his employees to bring him a can of pepper spray from inside his office, and told the woman to compose herself and not drive away or she would be pepper sprayed, then he pepper sprayed her while she was trying to drive away. Harvey then told two Simpson County Sheriff’s Deputies to handcuff the woman. After she was handcuffed, and while being escorted to the courthouse by the deputies, Harvey pepper sprayed the woman several more times.

Harvey pled guilty on February 23, to deprivation of civil rights under color of law.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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