Award-Winning Florida Deputy Indicted for Beating Non-Resisting Man
Florida deputies chased a suspected drug dealer for a mile before he stopped, raised his arms, fell to his knees and laid himself facedown on the ground in an obvious attempt at surrender.
The five Marion County deputies then hopped out of a truck and proceeded to beat him for 30 seconds; kneeing him, kicking him, punching him – all while yelling “stop resisting.”
They later claimed Derrick Price was combative and resisting, which was why he had a black eye in his mugshot.
But Price accused them of excessive force and a surveillance video proved him right.
That video was released Wednesday, more than 17 months after the August 7, 2014 incident.
On Tuesday, fired deputy Jesse Terrell was indicted for violating Price’s civil rights.
Terrell, along with the other four deputies who pleaded guilty last year, are now are facing prison sentences.
The video was so blatant that the Marion County Sheriff’s Office wasted no time in suspending the deputies without pay. Then it turned the case over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which then got the FBI involved.
All within a span of weeks.
The four other deputies resigned last July after admitting they lied on the report, pleading guilty to violating Price’s civil rights.
But Terrell refused to plead guilty and refused to resign, claiming he did nothing wrong, so he was fired last August.
So now he will probably receive a harsher sentence than the other four deputies, Cody Hoppel, Adam Ray Crawford, Trevor Wade Fitzgerald and James Louis Amidei.
This is how the incident is described in court documents:
The court documents read as follows, where Cody Hoppel, Adam Crawford, and Jesse Terrell are respectively referred to in court documents as deputies 1, 2, and 3.
“The video footage depicts the unnecessary and unreasonable use of force by three deputies who beat, kicked, and kneed a fully compliant Price while Amidei and Fitzgerald failed to intervene to protect the arrestee, despite having the opportunity to do so. Deputy 2 kneeled down at the right side of Price’s head and shoulder, Deputy 3 positioned himself immediately above Price’s head, Deputy 1 took a position at Price’s left side, and Fitzgerald straddled the back of Price’s legs as Deputy Amidei hovered above the deputies directly behind Deputy 1. At no time did Price resist the deputies or pose a threat in any fashion. After Deputy 2 initially grabbed Price’s left arm from Price’s right side, pinning Price’s right arm to the ground, Deputies 1, 2, and 3 began beating Price as [he] lay on the ground.”
Terrell, who is described as having “multiple commendations, including awards for being top producer and Eagle Eye awards” is scheduled to make an initial appearance in federal court on February 4.
The other four former deputies are scheduled to be sentenced on April 20.
Price, 44, who has no previous arrests, is still facing drug charges.