Last week Orange County Sheriff John Mina threw one of his deputies straight under the bus when he fired a deputy for placing hands on a middle school female student who had been engaged in a fight.Various Orlando TV stations ran the video of the officer taking the combative kid (apparently handcuffed) and assisting her to the police car.His second hand was on the back of her head.She was wearing some type of hat or scarf.The deputy’s hand was on that as he was directing her to the vehicle.She continued her belligerent behavior and the deputy grabbed her hair through the covering to help control her.
No, the video isn’t pretty.Neither is the job we ask of these deputies.
While the world around Orlando is stuck in some alternate reality where adolescents can’t be dangerous or beyond calming, we send men and women into these situations to stop the reckless or dangerous behavior and get the perpetrators under control.This deputy was doing exactly that.I have only seen the video, just like the sheriff.We came to drastically different conclusions.
My take is that the deputy took necessary steps to control a still combative suspect.The sheriff’s take is that it could hurt a future reelection bid and he jumped onto the politically correct bandwagon.Not only did Mina fire the deputy, he is referring the case to the state’s attorney’s office for possible prosecution.
From all indications the deputy caused no harm to the suspect-child and ended the conflict that was the reason he was called to the scene.The child was not charged and released to a parent.
If the deputy’s actions violated policy he should be appropriately disciplined or retrained, not lose his ability to make a living and potentially face prosecution for doing his job.If there are more actions not documented on the video that are more severe than those we have seen, maybe we rethink this.But based on what you and I and the sheriff have seen, John Mina overreacted and placed his own deputy in jeopardy.
When’s it time for a cop to quit?When he does his job and can’t rely on support of his agency head for having done so.Orange County Deputies, if you now fear for your jobs and freedom (as you darn well should), Brevard County is hiring and we have a sheriff who still understands police work.Oh, he’ll correct you when you err, arrest you if you commit a crime, but he won’t throw you under the bus for doing your job.He and Brevard County will support you.
Now, isn’t that different than what you get in Orange County?
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