Following video evidence showing him dragging a handcuffed lady across the ground in the direction of a Hillsborough County jail booking room, the Tampa Police Department fired one of its officers on Tuesday.
Officer Gregory Damon broke many departmental rules during the encounter on November 17, according to an inquiry.
It took place after he and other cops were summoned to the Tampa Family Health Centers at 4620 N 22nd St. in the Belmont Heights neighborhood early that morning. A woman was reportedly sleeping outside the medical office and refusing to leave when asked to do so by staff members. According to authorities, the same woman had previously been warned to stay away from the premises. A charge of trespassing led to her arrest.
She wouldn’t get out of the back of Damon’s patrol SUV when they got at the Orient Road Jail, according to the police.
Police on Tuesday made available footage from a body-worn camera that showed his interaction with the woman.
He said, “I’m going to drag you out of this car.”
She said, “I want you to drag me.”
Tampa police said the officer violated several policies, including rules about transporting detainees, and displaying courtesy to the public.https://t.co/alZGXg6uyU
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) December 28, 2022
The cop is seen on film taking the woman by the arm, dragging her from the car, and directing her toward a sign that reads “search your arrestee” over the entrance to the main booking area. Throughout her speech, the woman berates the officer in a rebellious manner.
The officer stops dragging her and orders her to stand up. She stays where she is.
She was being dragged toward the door by Damon. When he punched a call button, two Hillsborough County jail guards were sent outside to assist in bringing the woman inside.
In a news statement reporting the event, Tampa police avoided mentioning the woman’s identity. However, according to her booking documents, she is 46 years old. She has a homeless services facility in Tampa as her reported address. She was arrested for trespassing at 10:19 in the morning that day. She was released to a mental health facility a few days after being booked, according to the booking papers. Her criminal case is still being investigated.
Supervisors at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office-run jail informed the Tampa Police Department about the event. The Professional Standards Bureau opened an investigation the following day. While the investigation was ongoing, Damon was let go from his position.