Gregory Damon is no longer an officer with the Tampa Police Department after he was seen on video dragging a woman who was handcuffed. According to ABC News, the incident took place on Nov. 17 but was only recently shared with the public. A press release from yesterday (Dec. 27) announced his termination.
The release noted that at the time, the suspect was placed under arrest for trespassing. As the two were parked at the Orient Road Jail in Florida, she told the officer, “I want you to drag me.” Her actions were recorded on his body camera. Still images from the tense situation were released, and although the woman’s face has been blurred to conceal her identity, it is clear that she had no control while being taken into custody. According to the news outlet, Damon violated department protocol, which is why his employment was terminated.
In 2013, the Tampa Police Department revised its policy to include a rule that officers must never drag an uncooperative suspect. Instead, cops are instructed to request backup from another law enforcement official or a member of the jail’s booking staff. In video from Damon’s body camera, as well as parking lot surveillance footage, he is seen dragging the woman after asking her once to get up. The former officer had been with the department since 2016.
“Throughout the incident, the female repeatedly used vulgar and obscene language,” a spokesperson for the Tampa Police Department shared. They continued, “Rather than remaining professional, Damon himself made rude and derogatory comments to the arrestee.” An employee of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office reportedly made Damon’s department aware of his actions. Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw added, “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.”