The Pinellas County Sheriff's office made public for the first time Wednesday video surveillance of a jail deputy throwing a man to ground.
The incident happened May 26, 2012, Memorial Day weekend. David Michael Fowler came into the Pinellas jail around 1:00, arrested for DUI. Deputy Desmond Quinn was going through the process of booking him.
Quinn told investigators he thought Fowler was being combative and was going to spit on him.
"Next time you put your hand up," Quinn says in the video, "I'm going to knock you down."
Moments later, the deputy grabbed his neck and threw Fowler down.
"We're lucky when [Fowler] hit the ground he didn't crack his head open," said Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.
Gualtieri fired Quinn in October after a lengthy internal investigation.
"Use of force is to protect yourself or others," Gualtieri said. "It's not to punish somebody. It's not to retaliate against somebody."
Investigators who later spoke with Fowler said: "It was clear that he could not recall the event"
We couldn't reach Quinn but he told investigators he realized what he did was wrong.
"I … deal with hundreds of people coming in," he said during an interview with investigators. "I'm supposed to be a professional at all times. I wasn't professional in that 13 minute slot."
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