A federal grand jury in Tampa has indicted a former Florida sheriff’s deputy on charges of violating the civil rights of an unarmed Black man, who was brutally beaten after surrendering to him and other officers following a brief chase last year, reports NewsOne.
Former Marion County sheriff’s deputy Jesse Terrell, 33, is accused of using excessive force against Derrick Price during the incident in August 2014 that was captured on video, according to the indictment handed down late Tuesday. Four of Terrell’s former colleagues pleaded guilty to the charge after accepting a deal, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
All of the officers, who are White, have either resigned or been terminated from the sheriff’s department in central Florida. An officer can be heard on the video ordering Price to “stop resisting,” although he was complying with their commands. A fifth officer looked on at the attack, but did not intervene, notes the report. His fate as of yet is unclear.
“Price was left bloodied in a parking lot where he was apprehended, after fleeing when authorities initially came to execute a drug-related arrest warrant, sheriff’s officials said.
The two-minute video, posted on the website of the Ocala Star-Banner, includes footage from security cameras and one officer’s body camera. The video shows Price running into the lot, putting his hands into the air and lying facedown on the concrete before any officers reach him.
A few seconds later, one officer kneels beside him and pulls Price’s arms behind his back as if to cuff him. Four other officers arrive and surround Price on the ground, including one officer who knees him in the ribs a dozen times and another who repeatedly punches Price in the head.”
Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair released a statement, saying, “The abusive and unprofessional actions they displayed shocked me to my core.” After reviewing the video, the sheriff added that he requested the officers’ termination with “absolutely no hesitation.”
The indictment comes at a time of heightened awareness regarding excessive police force in communities of color, but Terrell’s attorney, Charles Holloman, told the news outlet that his client is not guilty.