Florida Deputy Beats Handcuffed Man; Forced to Resign
A Florida deputy resigned last month after another deputy came forward, accusing him of using excessive force on a handcuffed suspect sitting in the back of a patrol car.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office this week released the video from inside the car that led to an internal affairs investigation.
Sergeant Timothy Bammert resigned in the midst of the investigation rather than wait for its outcome.
The video shows the handcuffed suspect sitting in the back of the car when he starts kicking the side of the door, yelling at deputies to “leave my old lady alone.”
The WFLA news report does not specify why the man was in handcuffs, only saying he was arrested after a traffic stop, so perhaps it was a DUI arrest where his wife was a passenger.
Bammert then opens the door and starts punching the man, dragging him outside with his shirt over his head where the audio records the man yelling “police brutality!”.
Bammert responds by yelling “stop fighting!” at the handcuffed man.
The man responds by telling, “I can’t breathe!”.
The deputy who blew the whistle was not named in the news report, but it’s a rarity for law enforcement officers to come forward against other officers who abuse citizens.
Hopefully, this deputy will not have to go through the typical retaliation that we have seen other officers go through.
But it appears as if the whistleblowing deputy is safe for now.
According to WFLA:
“No one deserves to be treated like that,” Hernando County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Denise Moloney said. “The only way we heard about it was from the employee.”
Department heads said Bammert violated several policies and used excessive force. He resigned during the investigation last month.
“The actions in the back of a patrol car that day are not how we conduct business here,” Moloney said. “All of us know what’s expected of us here.”
Bammert resigned during the investigation. He’s allowed to keep his pension. The state attorney’s office is not planning to file criminal charges.
The incident took place in February. Bammert was a 25-year veteran of the department and also listed as treasurer of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.