Broward News

Cops on TV, Part Two: When Entertainment Becomes Evidence

This is the second post in a two-part series about the BSO's fondness for TV cameras.

On February 1, 2011, two bald, white Broward Sheriff's deputies were talking to Devin Matthews, a 32-year-old black man, as he stood on his front yard. Detective Andrea Penoyer, a beautiful blond woman in tactical armor, strode over to meet them. As she arrived, one of the deputies suddenly reached behind Matthews' shoulders and tried to shove him down to the ground. Matthews resisted and stood up. Penoyer ran over and shouted, "He just threw --" and grabbed his right arm. She and another deputy pulled his arms out as the third deputy stood behind him and fired his Taser. Once Matthews was on the ground on his stomach, they ran a couple of audible jolts through him.

Once Matthews was subdued on the ground, saying he hadn't done anything wrong by standing in his yard, Penoyer stood over him and plucked the cigarette pack from his pocket. She told him he had been distracting the cops from arresting his neighbor on drug charges. "When we tell you to do something, do it right away," she said. "Don't argue with us."

This was all being filmed for an episode of Police Women of Broward County, the controversial TLC show that follows Penoyer and other lady deputies on the line of duty. The thing is: Intentionally or not, the deputy's first shove to subdue Matthews was timed perfectly to coincide with the arrival of Penoyer and the television cameras.

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Stefan Kamph
Contact: Stefan Kamph