Pinellas deputy fired for excessive use of force after incident left inmate with broken arm

Image 1 of 3

A detention deputy has been fired for using excessive force on an inmate at the Pinellas County Jail, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

An internal investigation revealed that deputy Amy Gee's actions resulted in an inmate's arm being broken, the sheriff's office said.

Investigators say Gee was working in the intake area of the Pinellas County Jail Jan. 8 when a 54-year-old woman was arrested for disorderly intoxication and brought in for booking.

The sheriff's office says the inmate was uncooperative, refusing to look at the camera for her booking photo or to identify herself to deputies.

During the booking process, Gee stood beside the woman, who was handcuffed behind her back.

A video of the incident shows the woman sway to one side and then back toward the deputy. In a split second, the video shows the deputy pull the inmate back by her throat and slam the inmate to the ground.

Investigators said Gee also put her foot behind the inmate as she fell, sending her to the floor with no ability to break her fall.

The inmate landed on her left arm, resulting in a fracture, the sheriff's office said.

Investigators said, although the inmate was not responding to Gee's verbal directions, "she was not physically resisting or verbally threatening deputies."

"Deputy Gee failed to verbalize or request any assistance from other deputies, and [the inmate's] actions did not demonstrate the necessity of the force used," a report from the sheriff's office said.

The inmate said she appeared to pull away from the deputy because she lost her balance, adding she has medical issues which cause her discomfort while standing. The inmate said she was not trying to get away or resist arrest.

"During the course of the Administrative Investigation, Deputy Gee admitted that she reacted inappropriately and did not feel as if [the inmate] was going to harm her or other deputies," the sheriff's office said. 

Gee has not been disciplined before this incident. She was terminated from the sheriff's office as of April 5.