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Officer fired after dragging woman on ground to jail entrance


(TAMPA) — A Tampa police officer has been fired after dragging a woman on the ground following an arrest, the department said in a statement.

The Tampa police department fired officer Gregory Damon following an internal investigation that determined he violated multiple departmental policies while booking a suspect into the Orient Road Jail on Nov. 17.

“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. As law enforcement officers, we are held to a higher standard,” said Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw.

Body camera footage and surveillance footage has captured the incident.

According to officials, Tampa police responded to a call regarding an individual sleeping outside the Tampa Family Health Center and refusing to leave despite requests made by employees.

Officers arrested the woman, who had previously been provided a warning for trespassing on the same property the month prior.

The woman refused to exit the patrol vehicle and told the officer “I want you to drag me!”

“Damon took the individual by the arm, dragging her from the vehicle to the entrance of the jail where he then buzzed the door entrance, prompting two deputies to come outside and assist with raising the individual from the ground and beginning the jail intake process,” the department said in a statement.

It continued, “Rather than remaining professional, Damon himself made rude and derogatory comments to the arrestee.”

The internal investigation found that Damon violated departmental policies related to searching, transporting, response to resistance, treatment of people in custody, standard of conduct, and more.

In 2013, Tampa revised its policy on handling uncooperative people following a similar incident, according to the department.

It added specific language that advised officers “that dragging an individual who is uncooperative is never an appropriate practice and instead, the correct procedure would be to request assistance from the booking staff.”

The department said that detention deputies are required to help lift someone from the transport vehicle and secure them in a restraining chair to be rolled into the intake area.

“This former officer’s actions were unacceptable and are not tolerated at this department, which is why we acted swiftly in initiating an internal investigation, relieving him of his duties, and ultimately terminating his employment,” the department said in a statement.

Damon was not immediately available to respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Damon is not being represented by the Tampa Police Benevolent Association in this matter, according to the organization.

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