A new music video shot inside a Middle Tennessee jail is turning some heads. Critics of the sheriff said it hits a sour note, even though he maintains it was done completely by the book.
On March 29, the Secret Sisters recorded a video for the song Rattle My Bones at the Rutherford County Jail.
Sheriff's office employees appeared as extras in the video, with some wearing department-issued uniforms and jailhouse clothing.
"No taxpayer's dollars were used in the production of this video," said Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold.
Arnold said the employees were not on the clock at the time and were paid by the production company, not the county.
"The officers chose on their off-duty time and got paid $40 for three hours worth of time," Arnold said.
The video was recorded in the C-Pod, which has been vacant for three weeks because of renovations, according to the sheriff.
Inmates were in other pods at the time and didn't have to be moved for the video shoot.
But not everyone is happy about the video being shot in a public jail operated with public dollars.
A Facebook page titled "Fire Robert Arnold" posted the video, and some commenters are questioning if employees were on the clock. Some even worried about security issues since one scene is in a secure tower.
"We made sure of all of that before they turned on the cameras, so there were no security issues," Arnold said.
This is not the first time a video was shot in the jail. Brandy Clark used the jail for her Stripes video last year, and the sheriff says no one complained about that.
County Mayor Ernest Burgess didn't hear about or see the video until today.
"This is the first time I've experienced this activity happening within the jail," Burgess said. "It is usual and out of the ordinary. I would hope no tax dollars were used."
The sheriff said the video has boosted morale within the department.
"I had a blast," said Deputy Derek Barrett. "It was fun, and we got paid for it."
"Where else can you work and get to be a star for a day?" said Sgt. Mark Sharpe.
The sheriff said there was no liability to the county. He says the California production company had its own liability insurance.
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