Friday, January 16, 2015

A Columbia, South Carolina, deputy is on unpaid leave while police investigate a smartphone video that shows him at a restaurant manhandling a young woman whose hands he had cuffed behind her back. According to commentary from the person taking the video, Deputy Paul Derrick, 49, had been off-duty and drinking when the incident began.

The Columbia Police Department’s incident report states that, around 11 p.m. on October 7, on the patio at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, Derrick approached Brittany Ball, 23, an off-duty soldier from nearby Fort Jackson. Ball appeared to be upset. When Derrick tried to talk to her, she rebuffed him, and the two started arguing.

Derrick then left the restaurant, got handcuffs from his vehicle, and came back in the bar to cuff Bell’s hands behind her back. That’s when the video begins. It shows Derrick twisting Ball’s arms behind her back, causing her to scream in pain and collapse – which put even more pressure on her shoulders. Meanwhile, Derrick is using Ball’s cuffed forearms to drag her into an upright position, which makes her scream even more from the pain.

Derrick’s manhandling causes Ball to fall against a table, which collapses. Ball’s screams are loud, but over them you can hear Derrick shouting something about “Marines” and “soldiers.” A police officer who reviewed the video and talked to witnesses reported that Derrick was yelling “This is how Marines deal with soldiers.”

Eventually, an unidentified man helps Ball rise to her feet, at which point Derrick puts her in a chair. Derrick then stands behind the sobbing Ball with his forearm wrapped around her neck and pressing on her chest.

ther patrons at the bar start telling Derrick to leave Ball alone, since she hadn’t done anything. The situation appears poised to escalate when the man doing the videotaping calms things down. He tells Ball’s friends that he’s got everything on video, that Derrick was off-duty and drinking when he cuffed and bullied Ball, and that he didn’t see Ball do anything that would warrant arrest. Realizing that this is a “caught on camera” moment, people became very quiet, and simply wait for the police to show up.

Derrick has been placed on leave without pay while the police investigate what prompted him, while on duty and drinking, to place cuffs on a young woman and then drag her around the bar.

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