Posted on October 15, 2013 by PSUSA in Uncategorized
COLUMBIA, SC — A drunken sheriff’s deputy was recorded during a strange and inappropriate altercation when he tried to arrest a female soldier at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Columbia, because she allegedly turned down his advances.
On October 7th, 23-year-old Brittany Ball, a USMC member out of Fort Jackson, was allegedly upset at the restaurant when approached by Richland County Deputy Paul Allen Derrick. She apparently did not want anything to do with him, which caused the aggressive deputy to become enraged and the two began to argue.
Derrick, a 17 year veteran, left the restaurant to go retrieve handcuffs and his gun from his vehicle, then returning to try and arrest Ball. He was recorded screaming at her and barking orders as he twisted her arms behind her back. The report states that Derrick handcuffed her, pulled her to her feet, and slammed her head into a metal table.
The video shows the berserking officer repeatedly ordering the woman to “STAND UP” and “SIT DOWN.” While he held her in handcuffs against her will, he wrapped his arm around her neck and kept resting his hand on her breast. “Let her go!” shouted a woman from off-camera.
Onlookers showed concern for the woman and told the raging officer that he had “crossed the line” and should let her go. Restaurant-goers murmured that somebody should “call the “real cops.” When a few men approached the officer, he threatened to arrest them. “You wanna get an attitude? STEP AWAY!!” Shortly thereafter, Columbia police arrived. They spoke to witnesses and saw the cell-phone video. They ordered that Derrick release Ball, then took him into custody and charged him with assault and battery.
Sheriff Leon Lott initially backed Derrick — disagreeing with Columbia Police — saying that he had authority to make an arrest, suggesting that Ball was “resisting.”
After a week of pressure and reasoning, Sheriff Lott placed Derrick on leave without pay, according to WISTV.
Fortunately everyone made it out of the tense situation alive, and Derrick did not go further with trying to abduct the woman. But what should be done when officers attack? Capturing cell phone video is good for evidence, but at what point is it necessary and justified to physically intervene with an “assault and battery” in progress, assuming the assailant is an armed and dangerous government agent?
Deputy fired after trying to arrest soldier at bar
Posted: Oct 15, 2013 12:36 PM PST Updated: Oct 16, 2013 2
By Jack Kuenzie - email
A little more than a week after he decided to handcuff a woman at a sports bar, Richland County deputy Allen Derrick is out of a job.
Sheriff: 'I'm here standing saying I'm sorry' about ex-deputy's actions at sports bar
Cell phone video shows off-duty deputy attempt to arrest soldier at bar
On October 7 at Buffalo Wild Wings on Devine Street, Derrick, 49, approached 23-year-old Brittany Ball, a female soldier at Fort Jackson, in an apparent attempt to calm her down after she became emotional.
But it's not clear why Derrick thought it was necessary to go out to his truck get his handcuffs, gun and badge and return to the bar, where he handcuffed her and began shouting at her.
WIS first heard last week that video of the incident existed and that it was likely going to be a serious problem for Derrick.
On Tuesday, WIS learned that Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott decided to fire Derrick, apparently for violating department policy in handcuffing and detaining Ball. Lott made the decision shortly before he met with Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago and Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson.
Some of the issues in that meeting surely centered on why Derrick took action, whether he was following department policy and state law, and how the police department responded in the process of arresting him.
"It made me angry, and then it made me sick and disgusted that any law enforcement officer would act that way, particularly a Richland County deputy," Lott said Wednesday during a news conference. "There's absolutely no excuse for his behavior and what he did that night. He interjected himself into something that he should of never gotten involved in."
Derrick served in public service as a Columbia firefighter and for the last 14 years as a Richland County deputy.
The events on the patio at Buffalo Wild Wings a little more than a week ago were captured on cell phone video shot by customer and Ball's fellow soldier, Steven "WaWa" Hughes.
"I said I'm going to start videoing this because I think something is about to get out of hand," said Hughes. "And about the time I got my video out, he had her turned around and was putting her in handcuffs.
The video, showing Derrick shouting at Ball as he yanked and twisted the handcuff chains, sparked outrage from many who saw it.
It also played a role in a decision by Columbia police arriving at the scene to order Ball released while they took Derrick into custody, charging him with assault and battery.
Last week, Lott disagreed with the police action, saying Derrick had authority to make an arrest and suggesting Ball may have been resisting.
But a state attorney general's opinion does not appear to support the sheriff.
In 2009, that office cited a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that determined a Class 3 officer like Derrick is limited in his law enforcement authority, and "without statutory authority to detain a suspect until another officer arrives..."
Despite the disagreement, Santiago downplayed any friction with the sheriff's department.
"Especially in sensitive situations like this when we have police officers dealing with police officers, we want to make sure we're very respectful to those agencies," said Santiago. "Because... that harmony between our agencies is crucial."
Another issue to be determined is whether Derrick had legal clearance to take his gun into a place that served alcohol.
That is an issue often determined by specific agency policy.
Santiago and Lott declined comment on the specifics of the case Tuesday.
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