A Dallas jailhouse employee threatened to confiscate a teen’s phone, pulling off her belt and threatening to whip the 19-year-old citizen journalist for recording her in public.
PINAC investigator Felipe Hemming identified the belt-wielding employee as Jazmine Joseph, a clerk in the Dallas County Sheriff Bond Section of the Lew Sterrett Justice Center, but only after Captain Lolly of internal affairs claimed he could not identify the woman.
The beginning of Roth’s video mundanely shows jailers exiting the building after their shift, acting professionally, most of them not minding the young man standing nearby recording.
One even smiles as he walks by.
Then along comes Jazimine Joseph.
A few minutes in to the video, Joseph begins saying, “He taking picture of y’all.”
A nearby corrections officer asks, “why is he taking pictures?”
“I don’t know,” the woman replies, shortly before she becomes belligerent and aggressive over the young man with a camera.
Even though Joseph obviously knows she’s being recorded, she reaches to whip off her belt and tells the young man she’s going to whoop him.
“I’m gonna take that phone in a minute. You got me recorded. I’m gonna take that ho.”
A few seconds later, Joseph yanks her belt from her pant and charges towards Roth, threatening him.
“I’m fixing to whoop his ass with a belt! I”m fixing to tear your little ass up!”
Roth runs out of reach of the woman as she continues boasting to officers, “I’ll whoop his ass!”
The audio is unclear, but it sounds like Joseph screams, “get him, John!”
“You’re going to lose your job,” Roth calmly tells Joseph.
“My name James. What are you talking about? Come back up here,” Joseph belligerently belts to the young man.
“You’re going to lose your job,” Roth repeats.
“Come back up here! I’m gonna fuck your ass up!” she threatens, calling him a racial slur.
A corrections officer, who has not yet been named, rushed down the stairs out of view of Roth’s camera, begins ushering the man out of the public space.
“Don’t touch me!” Roth exclaims to the man dressed in uniform, who is apparently a jailer, although that has not been confirmed.
Roth returned the next day to file a complaint about the incident and happened to run into Joseph again while recording another video. And she again becomes belligerent with the young man.
PINAC reached out to Captain Lolly at the jail on W. 123 Commerce St., which the captain said was a private area, although a further investigation revealed that to be untrue.
Captain Lolly also told PINAC in a telephone conversation that he believed the right to record public officials in public spaces was important.
But that was apparently a lie.
According to Roth, when he went to record the complaint process the next day, Captain Lolly refused to assist unless he agreed to stop recording.
The captain told PINAC he could not identify the employee, and would be unable to take any action against her unless a formal complaint was filed, stressing the importance of due process.