Tampa police officer fired for violating policy for dragging woman to jail

Dec. 29 (UPI) -- A Tampa police officer has been fired for violating the department's policies by physically dragging a Florida woman to jail.

Gregory Damon, the officer, was terminated after an investigation found that he violated multiple policies while booking an inmate into the Orient Road Jail, officials announced Tuesday.


Damon was determined to have specifically violated policies relating to searching, transporting, and booking of prisoners; courtesy to the public; reporting response to resistance; treatment of persons in custody and standard of conduct -- as well as policies regarding the use of body-worn cameras.

The investigation stemmed from an incident on Nov. 17 when officers were called to the Tampa Family Health Center for calls that a woman was sleeping outside and refused to leave when asked by employees.

The woman had previously received a warning for trespassing at the same location a month earlier and was arrested by Damon for trespassing after that warning.

"I want you to drag me!" the woman allegedly yelled at Damon after refusing to leave the police vehicle, officials said in the statement.


Damon can be seen in video footage shared by the department dragging her by her arm across the floor of the jail's receiving area. She was not injured during the incident.

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"Throughout the incident, the female repeatedly used vulgar and obscene language. Rather than remaining professional, Damon himself made rude and derogatory comments to the arrestee," officials said.

The Tampa Police Department revised its policy for handling uncooperative prisoners in 2013 after a similar incident. Department rules now specify that dragging uncooperative prisoners is "never an appropriate practice."

"Professionalism is not only expected, it is demanded, in every encounter our officers have with the public, regardless of the arrestee being uncooperative or unpleasant in return," said Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw.

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"As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard."

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