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Tampa Officer Fired; Video Shows Him Dragging Woman Into Jail

The Tampa Police Department fired one of its officers after he was recorded dragging a handcuffed woman across the ground toward a Hillsborough County jail booking room. An investigation found that officer Gregory Damon violated department policies during the Nov. 17 incident, the Tampa Bay Times reports. It happened after he and other officers were called to the Tampa Family Health Centers. People at the medical office reported that a woman was sleeping outside the building and refusing requests to leave the property. The same woman had previously been told to stay away She was arrested on a trespassing charge. When Damon arrived with her at the Jail, the woman refused to step out of the back of his patrol SUV. A body-worn camera video recorded the interaction with the woman. In the recording, you can hear them talking: “I’m going to drag you out of this car,” Damon told her. “I want you to, drag me,” she said. The video shows the officer taking her by the arm, pulling her out of the vehicle, then moving her across a long concrete floor toward a sign reading “search your arrestee” over the doorway to the central booking room. The woman speaks defiantly, berating the officer throughout. As he drags her, the officer stops and tells the woman to stand up, but she remained on the ground. Damon continued to drag her toward the doorway. He summoned two deputies to help bring the woman into the room.


Tampa police did not name the woman, but jail booking records indicate that she is 46 years old. Her listed address is a facility that provides services to homeless people. She was booked on a trespassing charge and released a few days later to a mental health facility. Supervisors at the jail, which is run by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, reported the incident to the Tampa Police Department. The department’s policy on dealing with uncooperative detainees at the jail states that officers should request assistance from the jail booking staff. Jail deputies can help the officer lift the person into a restraint chair to be wheeled into the jail. Police said they tweaked their policy after a similar incident in 2013, adding language that it is inappropriate to drag a person who is being uncooperative. Police noted that the woman used vulgar and obscene language toward the officer and that Damon made rude and derogatory comments toward her. The investigation concluded Tuesday with a decision to fire Damon. He had worked as a patrol officer since 2016.

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