A policeman in Tampa, in the United States, has been fired a video showed him dragging a woman on the ground following an arrest, the department said in a statement. The police said an internal investigation showed that Gregory Damon “violated multiple departmental policies while booking an inmate into the Orient Road Jail”. Damon was working as a patrol officer since August 2016. This is the latest incident of police brutality in the United States where Freddie Gray and George Floyd have died in similar incidents in recent years.
The Tampa Police carried out the investigation against Damon over the incident that took place on November 17.
“Professionalism is not only expected, it is demanded, in every encounter our officers have with the public, regardless of the arrestee being uncooperative or unpleasant in return. As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard,” Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw said in the statement.
The police has also released bodycam footage of the arrest and CCTV video of Damon dragging the woman. The clip has been posted on Tampa Police Department’s YouTube channel.
The police said that a call was received regarding an individual sleeping outside the Tampa Family Health Centre and refusing to leave despite requests made by employees.
When the police officers reached the location, the say a female who was previously provided a warning for trespassing on the same property in October. She was arrested for trespass after warning and transported to jail by Damon.
When he reached the Orient Road Jail with the woman, she refused to exit the police patrol vehicle and told the officer “I want you to drag me!”
“Damon took the individual by the arm, dragging her from the vehicle to the entrance of the jail where he then buzzed the door entrance, prompting two deputies to come outside and assist with raising the individual from the ground and beginning the jail intake process,” the police further said in the statement.
The internal investigation by the police showed that Damon violated departmental policies related to searching, transporting and booking of prisoners, courtesy to the public, reporting response to resistance, treatment of persons in custody and standard of conduct.
The department also said that after reviewing the bodycam footage and interviewing Damon, the investigators found no clear reasoning for why a violation of procedure would have been justified, and the decision was made to terminate the officer.
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