Family claims excessive force by Chattooga County deputies

A northwest Georgia family is outraged. They accuse Chattooga County deputies of abusing their loved one rather than helping him following an ATV accident last week. 

Paramedics say they tried to help the man, but he began assaulting EMTs.  

That 21-year-old is hospitalized and three of his family members were jailed, charged with obstruction after the medical emergency erupted into chaos. 

Christopher Cunningham Jr.'s mother was brought to tears as she explained what happened to FOX 5's Aungelique Proctor. She says deputies were called to render aid to her son for a head injury, but instead, she alleges they used a Taser on him, slammed him to the ground and put him in a chokehold. 

Paramedics say Cunningham assaulted them. 

The family of Christopher Cunningham Jr. hold a press conference on May 24, 2024.

The family of Christopher Cunningham Jr. hold a press conference on May 24, 2024. (FOX 5)

Several Cunningham family members were shocked to find their son and brother were stunned by using a Taser and screaming after an ATV accident on Stateline Road near the Alabama line last week.  

His parents and sister say Christopher Jr, fondly known as "JJ", suffered from a bad head injury and was acting erratically. 

"They put me in the police car, I could see him walking around, and I knew they were wrestling with him. And I kept saying he has a head injury, he is not like this," mom Carmen Cunningham said with tears in her eyes. 

Carmen said she had hoped deputies could deescalate the situation, but she says the opposite happened. 

"We are waiting on help. We are waiting on help. We are waiting on the officers. I thought they would give him shots, sedated him to calm him. It didn't go that way.  It didn't go that way," the mom said with regret.  

Deputies indicated in an incident report that Cunningham hit the EMTs, refused treatment, was belligerent and had an odor of alcohol on his breath. 

Christopher Cunningham Jr.

Christopher Cunningham Jr. (Supplied)

Deputies finally arrested Carmen, her daughter Khari and even her husband, Christopher Cunningham Sr. All three are charged with misdemeanor obstruction. 

"This is a nightmare. It’s just a nightmare. We were expecting help, we didn't get help," father Christopher Cunningham said.  

JJ is heavily sedated in a Rome hospital with two skull fractures and at least two brain bleeds. 

Cunningham's attorney says deputy training is obviously needed.  

"The aggressiveness with three and four officers on him, tasing him multiple times. You are exacerbating anything that is going on," Cunningham attorney Terance Madden exclaimed.  

Christopher Cunningham Jr.

Christopher Cunningham Jr. (Supplied)

The attorney wants all the charges against JJ and his family dropped. 

He says he is still investigating if the family will file a civil suit.