An investigation into a Florida deputy was launched this week after video surfaced showing him dragging a handcuffed mentally ill woman through the Broward County Courthouse by her shackled feet.
Attorney Bill Gelin was in the courthouse on Monday and used his cellphone to capture the dramatic video of Broward County Deputy Christopher Johnson dragging 28-year-old Dasyl Jeanette Rios down a hallway, the Sun Sentinel reported.
The court had just declared Rios mentally incompetent in a felony trespassing case. According to WSVN, Rios couldn’t say goodbye to her mother after the ruling, and was taken to a hallway. When she refused to sit on a bench, Johnson began dragging her through the courthouse.
“Stop! You’re hurting me!” Rios yells. “You’re f*cking hurting me! I hate my life! I wish they would kill me already! Why do I have to be alive?”
“I gave you a chance,” Johnson replies.
“You didn’t give nobody a chance!” Rios exclaims. “All I wanted to do was sob for a few minutes — cry. That’s all I wanted to do was cry for a few minutes.”
Public Defender Howard Finkelstein told the Sun Sentinel that Johnson should be charged with a crime.
“This is nothing less than treating a mentally ill patient like she’s a reptile,” he insisted. “It’s shameful. I believe a crime was committed. For God’s sake, this is 2015. We don’t drag human beings down the hallway of a public courthouse. A crime has been committed and that deputy should go to jail.”
Attorney Bill Gelin told WSVN that the deputy had more civilised options if the woman refused to move.
“They could have had a wheelchair, they could have had a stretcher, they could have had somebody with just the slightest bit of compassion,” Gelin said. “This was truly barbaric. And I’m just greatly disappointed. You know, we all work together in the court system, particularly in the criminal justice system, and this just gives everybody a black eye.”
Deputy Johnson, a 27-year veteran of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, was ordered to have no contact with inmates until an internal affairs investigation could be completed.
“I am concerned by the way the deputy handled this situation, because there were other courses of action he could have taken,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said in a statement. “Internal Affairs has initiated a complete and comprehensive investigation, and the deputy has been placed on restricted duty pending the outcome.”
Chief Assistant Public Defender Lynn Desanti called for charges against Johnson.
“I think he should be arrested for what he did,” she remarked. “He committed a battery on her, and the same way that people have to go through the criminal system and defend themselves, he needs to defend his actions, and I plan to go forward to the sheriff. This gentleman does not deserve to wear a badge.”
Watch the video below from WSVN, broadcast Feb. 23, 2015.
‘The president’s lying — that should matter!’ CNN’s Berman unloads on GOP for blowing off Bolton revelations
CNN's John Berman on Tuesday expressed frustration at the idea that Republican senators could still vote to acquit President Donald Trump even after leaked excerpts of former national security adviser John Bolton's book further implicated the president.
During a panel discussion about Bolton's book, which reportedly alleges that Trump directly linked releasing military aid to Ukraine with investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman warned that the book may not be the big game changer that many have been hoping to see.
"I'm somewhat more skeptical that this is going to necessarily lead to witnesses," she said. "It might. I just think that we really don't know, and I think the desire for Republicans to have this wrapped up fairly quickly remains strong."
GOP’s Joni Ernst may have inadvertently boosted Joe Biden in Iowa: ex-White House official
On CNN's "New Day," regular contributor and former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart almost rolled his eyes at a clip of Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst rushing to the cameras to gush about attacks on Joe Biden, saying she may have ended up helping the former vice president in her own state.
Speaking with hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota after watching the clip of the Iowa Republican blurting, "The Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening, and I'm really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic goers. Will they be supporting VP Biden at this point?" Lockhart seemed in disbelief that she may have handed Biden a boost.
Fox & Friends hosts visibly deflated after Andrew Napolitano destroys their hope for a quick impeachment trial
Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano deflated the hosts of "Fox & Friends" by poking holes in their impeachment defense of President Donald Trump.
Co-host Steve Doocy argued that Trump's conversations with former national security adviser John Bolton and other White House officials were protected by executive privilege, but Napolitano pointed out that wasn't necessarily so.
"If John came here as he used to, and started spilling the beans, that would violate the privilege," Napolitano said of Bolton, a former Fox News guest. "But it would be perfectly lawful and he would be able to do it. If he did it in a press conference it would be lawful and he could do it. The question is, can he do it under oath in the well of the Senate? That's where the authority is divided."