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‘I Want You To Drag Me,’ Tampa Cop Gets Fired After Dragging Arrestee Into Jail

Tampa, FL – A Tampa police officer who dragged an uncooperative female prisoner into a jail facility after she refused to walk and told him to drag her has been fired (video below).

Tampa Police Department (TPD) Officer Gregory Damon had been with the department for more than six years, the agency said in a press release on Tuesday.

The series of events leading to Officer Damon’s firing began on Nov. 17, when the TPD was called to the Tampa Family Health Center located at 4620 N 22nd Street for a report of a woman who was sleeping outside the building and refused employees’ requests to leave.

Officers responded to the scene and made contact with a female suspect and learned she had already been warned about sleeping on the property on Oct. 19, the TPD said.

As a result, Officer Damon arrested her for trespass after warning and transported her to the Orient Road Jail.

When they arrived at the jail facility, the female suspect “refused to exit the patrol vehicle and walk into central booking, instead yelling at the officer ‘I want you to drag me!’” the TPD said.

Bodycam footage showed Officer Damon repeatedly and calmly asking the argumentative suspect to get out of the patrol unit.

The officer ultimately pulled the suspect out of the car and dragged her several feet before telling her to get up and walk.

“You ain’t hurting me at all,” she told Officer Damon as he tugged her across the floor.

The suspect “repeatedly used vulgar and obscene language” throughout the incident, the TPD said, noting that Officer Damon also made “rude and derogatory comments to the arrestee” in response.

Officer Damon proceeded to pull her to the doors of the central booking area, where he asked for assistance getting the uncooperative suspect inside, the video showed.

Two deputies came outside and helped Officer Damon bring the suspect into the facility.

She was uninjured during the incident, according to the TPD.

“In 2013, following a similar incident with an uncooperative individual in custody, TPD revised its policy on handling of uncooperative prisoners, adding in specific language to advise officers that dragging an individual who is uncooperative is never an appropriate practice and instead, the correct procedure would be to request assistance from the booking staff,” the TPD said. “Detention deputies must assist an officer with lifting the individual from the transport vehicle and securing them in a restraining chair to be rolled into the intake area.”

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), which operates the county’s jail facilities, contacted the TPD about the incident and an internal investigation was immediately launched on Nov. 18, the police department said.

Officer Damon was placed on administrative leave while the investigation was being conducted.

The TPD Professional Standards Bureau ultimately determined the veteran officer violated a slew of departmental policies, including courtesy to the public, treatment of persons in custody, response to resistance, searching, transporting, and booking of prisoners, and standard of conduct.

“During the investigation, Damon was found to have additionally violated policies related to Body Worn Camera, Response to Resistance, and Incompetence,” the TPD said.

After investigators reviewed security and bodycam footage of the incident, they met with Officer Damon to discuss what occurred.

The TPD said the interview “led to no clear reasoning for why a violation of procedure would have been justified.”

Officer Damon was fired on Tuesday.

“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,” TPD Interim Chief Lee Bercaw said in the press release. “As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard.”

“The actions of one individual should not tarnish the work of the nearly 1,000 officers protecting and serving our city who, on any given day, encounter people who choose to be uncooperative during the arresting and booking process; however, they do not let the actions of that individual deter them from following the policies and procedures put in place for safety,” Chief Bercaw said.

“This former officer’s actions were unacceptable and are not tolerated at this department, which is why we acted swiftly in initiating an internal investigation, relieving him of his duties, and ultimately terminating his employment,” he concluded.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Obscene Language:

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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