(WHDH) — Two Pinellas County, Florida deputies have been suspended after being caught on camera using excessive force.
Deputy Alexander Edge responded to call about a man with a gun.
When he arrived, he found Jimarez Reed in the front yard.
Later, Deputy Jason Fineran arrived with his dash cam rolling.
“He’s not showing his hands. He’s acting crazy. He’s acting out of control. He’s yelling, screaming, running around the car,” Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said while watching the footage of Reed.
Deputy Edge then approached Reed from behind, which Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said was a mistake. He said Edge should have waited for backup deputies to assist, instead of jumping on Reed’s back, hitting him 7 times and later 5 more, and pulling his hair.
Now the review board and the sheriff said the deputies actions were justified because they feared being shot by the 45-caliber they were told Reed was carrying.
The policy violations were for Deputy Fineran.
“The reason why there’s no audio initially is because Deputy Fineran intentionally turned it off, which is a direct violation of Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office policy,” said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
The suspect’s attorney has questions about why that audio was shut off.
The sheriff is now stressing the video does not tell the whole story, and Reed’s attorney agrees.
“We don’t know what has happened. We only know his deputy’s recitation of the facts, which I don’t believe is credible,” said the attorney.
Police said an internal investigation is underway.
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