A white Florida police officer was fired after he was caught on camera dragging a Black woman into jail last month, according to WFLA. Gregory Damon, who's been with the Tampa Police Department since August 2016, was terminated on Tuesday (December 27) following an internal investigation, according to officials.
Police got a call on November 17 regarding a woman sleeping outside the Tampa Family Health Center on North 22nd Street. The woman reportedly refused to leave, and law enforcement previously warned her about trespassing on the property back in October. As a result, Damon arrested her and transported her to Orient Road Jail.
When they arrived at the jail, the woman refused to get out of the patrol car and even started yelling, “I want you to drag me!” That's when Damon grabbed her by the arm and dragged her all the way to the entrance, as shown in the body camera footage.
"You ain't hurting me at all," she's heard insulting the officer.
"You're fat as f***," Damon replies as they approach the door.
Separate surveillance footage also caught the officer pulling the woman across the ground. Police said two deputies came out and raised the woman from the ground before booking her. She wasn't hurt during the incident, they added.
Supervisors at the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office alerted Tampa Police about Damon's actions, prompting an investigation. Investigators found that he violated several departmental policies instead of correctly asking for help from the booking staff.
Tampa Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw addressed Damon's firing in a statement:
“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. 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. 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.”