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Hall Co. Sheriff fires jailer accused of striking inmate

GAINESVILLE (AP) -- Hall County sheriff's officials say they've fired a jailer who they say used excessive force against an inmate.

Hall County sheriff's Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said the jailer was fired after an internal investigation.

Sheriff's officials said the jailer struck a handcuffed inmate in the head with his hand.

Wilbanks says that criminal charges are possible, and the District Attorney's Office would decide whether they are filed.

Col. Tony Carter, chief deputy of the sheriff's office, said the jailer's actions are "completely unacceptable and do an extreme disservice to those we are sworn to protect, as well as those officers who serve honorably."

The sheriff's office has requested that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation conduct an independent investigation.