HANCOCK COUNTY — The Indianapolis man who is suing officials with the county’s Hancock County Community Corrections (HCCC) program and county commissioners for racial discrimination is in the Hancock County Jail to serve a term after a court official determined he violated probation.
Ja’ Michael Bryant, 21, 1100 block of Tree Hallaway, it was determined late last week in Hancock County Superior Court 2 by Magistrate Cody Coombs, had violated terms of his probation surrounding a case he was originally arrested for in November 2021.
That’s when Bryant was accused of a Level 6 felony count of dealing marijuana and a Class B misdemeanor of possession of marijuana. However, he entered into a plea agreement in November, 2022 and was given a 910-day term with 903 days suspended to HCCC home detention while the misdemeanor was dismissed.
According to arrest records from the county jail, Bryant was again arrested in August and charged with probation order violation for failing a drug test, but he quickly bonded out while officials tried to determine what was going on.
Bryant is now back in the county jail where he is listed as “serving time” after it was determined the violation of his probation did indeed happen. Court records note a hearing on the violation was held Friday, Sept. 29 and Bryant was taken into custody later that same day.
Court records show his sentence was modified in April of this year to a 645-day term with 280 days of jail credit and 365 days suspended with 280 days to HCCC Home Detention, so he’ll now need to serve the time that had been suspended.
Prosecutor Brent Eaton told the Daily Reporter Bryant has at least 30 more days to serve so, with good behavior, he could be out in a couple of weeks.
Bryant, who was several months into serving his term on home detention for dealing marijuana is the man who has accused three HCCC officials of violating his rights over the course of several months while on probation. According to the federal lawsuit, a HCCC field officer called Bryant who did not answer the phone. However, the phone did not disconnect and recorded a conversation about Bryant by the three HCCC officers.
According to court documents, in the three-minute recording, the three HCCC workers are heard talking to each other about Bryant using racially charged and derogatory words discussing him.
The federal lawsuit states Bryant was subjected to unlawful and unreasonable discrimination based on his race. He also suffered embarrassment, humiliation, loss of income, and other damages, the suit states.
Due to federal case being filed, the supervision of his local case was transferred to Marion County. However, Hancock County still has jurisdiction of Bryant’s case and handled his violation of probation charge. Marion County officials notified local officials that Bryant had violated his probation.