Manatee sheriff opens investigation after 70-year-old grandmother is tased by deputy

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office says it is investigating after cell phone video surfaced showing a 70-year-old grandmother screaming as she was tased and arrested on her birthday.

Deputies showed up at Barbara Pinkney’s Manatee County home on Dec. 26 hoping to arrest her grandson, Tevin Turner. Instead, Pinkey’s the one who went to jail.

The video has garnered attention far and wide. Among those who watched: Manatee County Sheriff Rick Wells.

“I’ve opened up an internal affairs investigation on this matter, so we can gather all the facts in this case,” Wells told 8 On Your Side Monday.

While the sheriff is confident his deputies acted properly, the one who pulled the Taser trigger is on desk duty during the investigation, he said.

Investigators plan to talk to all parties involved and look at all the videos of the takedown.

“We know the deputy had a lawful right to enter the house. We had a felony VOP warrant for three felonies Mr. Turner committed, that’s who we were looking for,” Wells said.

Turner’s address is the same as his grandmother’s, 8 On Your Side learned.

As of Monday afternoon, he had not been arrested.

Pinkney, who enjoyed Christmas and was in the midst of enjoying her birthday with family members, felt beat up and bullied inside her own home.

She had asked to speak to a sergeant, but one wasn’t available and the deputies had to push themselves in, the video shows. We spoke with Pinkney again Monday after talking to Sheriff Wells.

“We talked to the sheriff today. He said had you simply complied and let them in, none of this would have happened,” reporter Ryan Hughes said.

“If they come in a better way, maybe I would have, but he pushed the door open. He said ‘you need no sergeant. I’m gonna come in anyways,'” Pinkney told us.

Wells said the deputy who tased Pinkey also tased an elderly man several years ago, and that tidbit will be part of the current investigation.

That deputy has been on the force for more than 15 years and works in the warrants division, Wells explained.

“We’re trying to prove whether or not any policy violations or any law was broken,” the sheriff said. “That seems to be the indication of many in the community, a bad arrest.”

Friends and family members plan to hold a rally for Pinkney on Dec. 31 at Pinkney’s home, according to a Facebook post.

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