DANIA BEACH, Fla. – The Broward Sheriff's Office has opened an internal investigation into a 2017 encounter a deputy had with a man in front of the man's 9-month-old son.
Public defender Howard Finkelstein wrote a letter to Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony Jan. 30 to report the alleged abusive conduct.
In the video, a deputy, identified by Finkelstein as James Cady, is clearly seen grabbing Allen Floyd by the neck as Floyd is holding his baby. A female deputy is then seen trying to pull the baby from Floyd's arms.
Finkelstein told the sheriff that Floyd was trying to deescalate the situation after authorities were called to the Red Carpet Motel in Dania Beach to remove a woman from the property because employees claimed she was intoxicated and broke a TV.
Floyd knew the woman and is heard in the video telling the deputies that they did not break any TVs.
Finkelstein wrote in his letter to Tony that Floyd was sitting on the sidewalk holding his son as Cady stood over him.
Finkelstein said Cady threatened to place the baby in child protective services and yelled, "Quit f---ing with me, boy!"
The video shows Floyd telling deputies a short time later, "I don't want no problem with y'all. What, he's calling me boy and grabbing me by my neck? That's not cool."
"What, you're going to try me?" a deputy is heard saying.
"No, I just asked you a question. I said, 'What for?'" Floyd responds.
The use of force against Floyd does not appear to be mentioned in BSO reports obtained by Local 10 News.
"Mr. Floyd demonstrated considerable restraint and composure while Deputy Cady was verbally and physically abusive toward him," Finkelstein wrote. "At no time did Mr. Floyd take an aggressive posture or use physical force toward Deputy Cady. Rather, Mr. Floyd continued his attempts to deescalate the situation by repeatedly reminding Deputy Cady of his baby’s presence in the face of Deputy Cady's range."
Finkelstein said the use of the word "boy" by Cady was also "offensive, condescending and demeaning" and carries racial connotations when used while addressing a black man.
Finkelstein also reminded the sheriff of Cady's past behavior, citing a previous federal lawsuit, wherein Cady was found liable for using a Taser, tackling and beating a man in 2009.
The sheriff responded to Finkelstein, saying this was the first complaint received regarding the 2017 encounter, but assured the public defender that Internal Affairs would be opening an investigation into the incident.