Last Edited: Friday, 15 Feb 2008, 12:41 PM EST
Created: Friday, 15 Feb 2008, 10:54 AM EST
TAMPA - Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee spoke to the media Friday about the incident where a deputy threw a quadriplegic prisoner from his wheelchair.
"We're horrified, disgusted, and I'd say disappointed. I donít think I can adequately express my professional, personal disappointment in how that transpired," Gee said.
Gee said he was hoping to meet with 32-year-old Brian Sterner, who was shown in a videotape, being pushed out of his chair by deputy Charlotte Marshall Jones.
He said investigators needed to do a victim-witness interview with Sterner.
Gee said he had seen the tape, and couldnít fathom an explanation.
"After reviewing this, there was no way you could explain why something like this happened. It was so out of the norm for what we do every day," Gee said.
Gee said it would be necessary to meet with Sterner before the investigation could move forward. He said once his office does a victim interview with Sterner, they would forward the information to the State Attorney's office for possible charges against the deputy.
PART 2 Related to this Story -
Top Lawman joins wheelchair investigation
Last Edited: Thursday, 14 Feb 2008, 6:33 PM EST
Created: Thursday, 14 Feb 2008, 6:33 PM EST
TAMPA - Brian Sterner says he is overwhelmed by the national firestorm over the shocking video of a jail deputy flipping him out of his wheelchair. Sterner is paralyzed from the chest down, and what happened to him has become a national scandal.
Now, Florida's top cop is ordering an investigation.
"I have forwarded the evidence to my office of civil rights for immediate review and I have asked they take the appropriate action," said Attorney General Bill McCollum.
"I applaud the Attorney General for doing that, and really the only other entity left would be the federal government if they had any interest as well in a civil rights investigation," said Sterner's attorney John Trevena.
Trevena says he's hoping the story will stay focused on abuse in jails and prisons, "to see that this never happens to anyone again."
The four suspended deputies are now under investigation by their own sheriff, the state attorney general, and local prosecutors.
"There is a specific felony statute that applies to battering a handicapped person and I believe there's a strong likelihood once the state attorney reviews what they'll charge," offered Eddie Suarez, a former prosecutor.
Experts say the deputies who saw the incident, and failed to report it, may also face charges under another state law that requires a disclosure to be made if a handicapped person is abused.
A NOTE FROM Swooper: On the original posting of this incident;
A number of U.S. Bashers said nothing would come of this incident... I beleive that all of you will be shown that you were wrong!
I will keep up with this story and post updates.
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