CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office has released new video that shows deputies attempt to haze, humiliate and intimidate two inmates at the Pinellas County Jail.
The incident occurred on Jan. 13. The edited video is approximately one minute in length.
The newly released video comes as two deputies have been suspended 240 hours without pay. This is after a six-month investigation conducted by the Administrative Investigation Division, Professional Standards Bureau, of the Pinellas County Sheriffs Office.
According to an internal investigation report, the inmates were cleaning on January 13th. They wanted gloves so they approached the glass window of the kitchen office.
In the video, you can see deputies walk out of the office and motion for the inmates to stand against the glass wall. The inmates are ordered to wait with their foreheads against an adjacent glass wall.
Then, the video shows deputies tape derogatory signs to the backs of the two inmates.
According to the report, the note stated something like “I’m an idiot. I can’t stop messing with the guards. I can’t get right.”
While the men waited, foreheads pressed against the glass, other inmates were directed to walk by. The inmates read the degrading signs out loud.
The total amount of time the inmates spent with their heads leaning against the wall was approximately 11 minutes.
The deputies have been identified as Willie Jordan Jr. and Kenneth Rowe.
According to a department spokesperson, two other deputies involved in this incident are no longer with the PCSO.
According to the Associated Press, Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the suspensions were harsh. The officers were not fired since they had spotless records before the incident.
During an interview, Deputy Rowe stated he takes full accountability for what happened. Deputy Jordan was also remorseful and embarrassed. He told investigators “I knew at the moment it was wrong, and I should have stopped it then, and I didn’t.”