A detention deputy at the Pinellas County Jail in Florida has lost his job after security footage emerged showing him kicking a prisoner who he forced to do push-ups as punishment for giving a bird part of his cookie.
James Moran, the deputy supervising the prisoners, felt this was a breach of prison rules and ordered Christo to do 50 push-ups.
Christo couldn't finish all 50 push-ups, so Moran swiftly kicked him in the ribs.
Video of incident @SheriffPinellas @BN9 https://t.co/YAnH4Z6eSb— Cait McVey (@Cait McVey)1556034615.0
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri denounced the deputy's actions to the Orlando Sentinel:
"I'm kind of speechless on it because it is so ridiculous. It is so outside the bounds. It is such misconduct. Anybody and everybody out there knows that we don't treat people this way."
"We don't treat inmates this way. It is so contrary to what we do and the obligation we have regarding the care, custody and control of people."
@craigtimes @kathrynvarn This gratuitous violence by corrections officers is out of control nationwide. I don’t kno… https://t.co/qpXnTxDMYt— Nicole Lillian Mark (@Nicole Lillian Mark)1556122105.0
Gualtieri wanted to make it abundantly clear that the deputy had acted against prison rules:
"It doesn't matter who they are. It doesn't matter where they are. Nobody, nobody deserves to be told 'get on the ground and give me 50' using profanity for simply giving a cookie that's going in the trash to a bird. It's one of the stupidest things I've ever seen."
The inmate gets tired and stops. And the deputy kicks him in the side. The inmate reported it once he was released,… https://t.co/XGBo5rbpYO— Kathryn Varn (@Kathryn Varn)1556033876.0
After the video surfaced, the deputy quickly lost his job.
"And then, then when the guy is clearly exhausted, he walks up and kicks him in the side. People don't need to be treated that way, they shouldn't be treated that way and we're going to take swift and effective action and he's going to be dealt with accordingly."
@HuffPost Am unable to wrap my head around the cause of the punishment, let alone the guards brutality. He s/be imprisoned.— Jay Zeltzer (@Jay Zeltzer)1556158097.0
Christo was serving 364 days in prison for "disorderly conduct and resisting an officer." Though his side hurt for days after the incident, he chose to wait until he was released from prison to file a report for fear of retribution.
@HuffPost Inmate got 364 days (+50 pushups and a kick in the ribs)for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Wann… https://t.co/unQc4uPEyV— Dr. ZEUSS (@Dr. ZEUSS)1556202376.0
Investigators quickly found security footage of the incident.
Moran, who had worked as a detention deputy for six years, was immediately fired and arrested for one count of battery.
The second deputy in the video is also being scrutinized by investigators for witnessing the incident and failing to report it.
@CaitMcVey @SheriffPinellas @BN9 Looks like an accessory under FL Stat § 784.082 to me. Lock the other one up too t… https://t.co/Y1ZCPenHxN— BFilmFan (@BFilmFan)1556049747.0
Though he's only been caught on video for this single incident, Moran, who's now in police custody, admitted that he's forced inmates to do push-ups as punishment in the past.
@jeffl76 @seanflanagan43 Lock him up 😡🤬. https://t.co/c0rCWUa2Fy— Star Blade (@Star Blade)1556150906.0
Fortunately, it looks like Moran will be on the receiving end of prison punishments in the future.