Texas woman claims she was beaten up by BSO deputies in jail
Audra West says corrections deputy invited others to take part in alleged beating
POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Audra West was vacationing in Fort Lauderdale last month when she was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct.
A day later, the Texas hairdresser was taken to the Broward Sheriff's Office north jail in Pompano Beach. That's where she alleges she was beaten up by corrections deputies.
"I went into jail with no bruises and I came out covered in bruises," West told Local 10 in a Skype interview from her home in Texas.
West showed Local 10 photos of her injuries taken two days after the alleged incident.
"I've got bruises all over my body," West said. "My face was swollen. My eye was basically swollen shut. I had bruises and cuts all over me."
West and attorney Gary Kollin filed a complaint with the BSO's internal affairs division. The BSO confirms it is investigating.
West claims the whole thing started while she was in a holding area wearing a jail jumpsuit and asked a female BSO deputy for a feminine pad.
"She said no and snickered," West explained.
West said she cursed at the guard under her breath, and that's when she said the corrections deputy put on rubber gloves and forced her into the strip-search room, where there is no camera.
"She invited other officers to come into the room with her," West said. "I was on the floor on my stomach, and she punched me on this side of the face. And I was being kicked and stepped on from behind, and she was punching me in the face. She punched me in the eye several times."
The BSO said it has identified the deputies allegedly involved in the incident. They are still on active duty.
It is the second allegation of brutality aimed at the BSO in the past month.
Surveillance video showed two deputies striking a man and slamming him to the pavement at a Deerfield Beach gas station. Those deputies are being investigated by both the BSO and state attorney's office.
Kollin told Local 10 he intends to seek legal action in his client's case.
"All she did was lie on the ground and cover herself up while she was being beaten by these officers," Kollin said.
West said what happened to her was "totally inhumane."
"It was almost like she was instructing other officers how to treat people," West said. "It was frightening. It was absolutely frightening."
Kollin said he has asked the BSO to expedite the investigation because of the seriousness of the allegation.
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