Hillsborough County, Fl. Sheriff David Gee will refer the case of a man dumped out of a wheelchair by a deputy Jan. 29 to the state attorney’s office, attorney John Trevena told NBC’s “Today” show this morning, the Tampa Tribune reports. Trevena’s client, Brian Sterner, was caught on video being dumped out of his wheelchair. Sterner landed on his ribs and then rolled over on his back while a deputy checked his pockets before she and another deputy put him back in the chair. The video has repulsed many and resulted in the suspension of a 44-year-old deputy with 22 years on the job and three supervisors.
Sterner, 32, can drive a car, but he hasn’t been able to walk for 14 years. He said he told the deputy that when he was booked into jail on a traffic-related charge, but she didn’t believe him. “This was not a training issue,” Gee said yesterday. “It’s a human decency issue. I can’t imagine any explanation she might have. Chief Deputy Sheriff Jose Docobo said that, “The actions are indefensible at every level. Based on what I saw, anything short of dismissal would be inappropriate.”