A shocking video has emerged of a Florida deputy dragging a mentally disturbed defendant around a public Courthouse, pulling forcefully on the chain of the cuffs he had placed around her ankles.
An investigation is underway after the incident was captured on video by Attorney Bill Gelin. The video shows Broward County Deputy Christopher Johnson pulling a shackled 28-year-old Dasyl Jeanette Rios along a hallway as she screams in pain.
WSVN News reports that Rios had just been declared mentally incompetent by the court in a felony trespassing case. The situation flared up when Rios was refused to be allowed to say goodbye to her mother after the ruling. She refused to cooperate with officer Johnson, who then began dragging her through the courthouse by the shackles on her feet.
In the video, Rios can be heard shouting “Stop! You’re hurting me! You’re f*cking hurting me!” She also yells “I hate my life! I wish they would kill me already! Why do I have to be alive?”
Johnson addresses her, saying “I gave you a chance,” but she counters “You didn’t give nobody a chance! 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.”
“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.”
Chief Assistant Public Defender Lynn Desanti told reporters that she found the incident disturbing. “I could hear screaming, and I could see a deputy yelling at somebody, and all I could hear was, ‘If If you don’t get up, I’m going to drag you,'” she said.
“I think he should be arrested for what he did,” she added. “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.”
Public Defender Howard Finkelstein also told reporters that the incident was uncalled for and that Johnson should be punished.
“This is nothing less than treating a mentally ill patient like she’s a reptile,” he urged. “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.”
While Rios is still in jail without bond, deputy Johnson has been ordered not to have any physical contact with inmates pending an internal investigation into the matter. He remains on duty, however.
“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.”
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.