Broward Deputy Under Investigation for Dragging Mentally Ill Woman
The Broward sheriff's deputy who was caught on video dragging a mentally challenged woman across the floor of the Broward County Courthouse on Monday is under investigation.
Attorney Bill Gelin, who runs the JAABlog, caught Deputy Christopher Johnson dragging Dasyl Jeanette Rios by the chains binding her feet across the hall on the third floor of the building as she cried out for him to stop.
Before the incident, a judge had declared Rios mentally incompetent during a trespassing and criminal mischief case.
On the video, Rios could be heard saying, "You're hurting me. You're fucking hurting me. Stop. You don't give nobody a chance."
Before breaking down, she says, "I hate my life. I wish they would kill me already. Why do I have to be alive?"
The incident was seen by several people, including Gelin, who posted the video on YouTube.
Johnson, a 27-year veteran, has since been reassigned to desk work as the incident is being investigated.
"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."
According to Courthouse News, Assistant Public Defender Rhonda Boettcher says Rios and a female deputy began to argue inside the courtroom following her hearing. That's when Johnson got involved. Rios apparently began sobbing as she sat on a bench and refused to get up when ordered by the deputy. Johnson picked her up and dragged Rios across the courthouse hallway.
According to the incident report, Johnson wrote, "Fearing she would cause a commotion in the public area, I then physically grabbed inmate Rios by her leg restraints and pulled her back to the D10-door."
For now, Johnson has been ordered not to have any further contact with inmates until the investigation concludes, the sheriff's office said.
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