(WSVN) - Video of an inmate taking repeated blows to the head inside a Broward County jail cell. The incident happened nearly a year ago, but it has not been exposed until now. 7’s Karen Hensel has this exclusive investigation: Beaten Behind Bars.
It was Dec. 22, 2019 inside the North Broward Bureau Jail in Pompano Beach.
In surveillance video obtained exclusively by 7 Investigates, Broward Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy Wayne Mayberry is seen entering the screen with a female inmate.
Chet Epperson, former police chief: “Look, the video is very concerning.”
The deputy and inmate appear to be grabbing each other’s clothes as she’s pushed into her cell.
This is what the video captures next.
Deputy Mayberry swings at the inmate.
He then punches her 13 times in rapid succession, using both his right and left fists before throwing her on the floor.
The video ends outside the cell after another deputy closes the door and Mayberry bends over one hand over his eye.
Chet Epperson: “We have a rather large correctional officer, who is striking the head of a very small woman.”
A woman who is just 4 feet, 11 inches tall.
We showed the video and incident report to Chet Epperson, a former police chief.
Chet Epperson: “Even prior to going into the cell, and so I’m looking at the back of the deputy, you can see his right arm up, so it looks like he’s going to strike someone.”
Deputy Mayberry’s report offers a glimpse into what, he said, happened prior to what we see on video.
After a verbal exchange about a washcloth, he said the inmate “became belligerent.”
When she didn’t comply with orders “to go back to her room,” the deputy stated he “took hold of her right shoulder sleeve.”
That’s when Mayberry wrote she “forcefully struck me in the face and throat, causing my eyeglasses to be knocked off my face” and yelled “I’m going to kill you!”
And two other inmates gave witness statements saying she went after the deputy, one writing she “hit him in the face multiple times.”
Chet Epperson: “If I’m escorting the person into the cell, the simple thing to do is just to push that inmate into the cell and close the door. You try to avoid force at all costs.”
Instead, at the cell door, Mayberry wrote she “spit in my face, eyes and mouth” … “gouged something into my right eye” and said he was “in fear of my life.”
The deputy said he “started hitting her with a closed hammer fist as fast as I could not knowing what I was hitting.”
Chet Epperson: “At a minimum, at a minimum, there needed — if there has not been — an investigation, an internal investigation, that should have taken place.”
BSO tells 7News they conducted a thorough review of the incident, including the surveillance video, and in a statement said: “Multiple reviews of the incident, including a preliminary review by BSO’s division of internal affairs, identified no misconduct by Deputy Mayberry…”
BSO provided us these pictures and said “Deputy Mayberry suffered serious injuries and required medical treatment at a hospital.”
The 22-year-old woman is accused of hurting another corrections officer in March at the same jail, a facility primarily for mentally ill and special needs inmates.
That case is being handled in Broward mental health court.
But the inmate was not charged in the incident with Deputy Mayberry. BSO says whether to charge is at the discretion of the deputy, and it’s not uncommon for deputies assaulted by inmates to decline to file criminal charges because of mental health concerns at this jail.
Full BSO statement (7News has redacted the inmate’s name since she was not charged in the incident):
“On Dec. 22, 2019, Broward Sheriff’s Office Detention Deputy Wayne Mayberry was attacked by a female inmate, [redacted], while he was performing his duties at the North Broward Bureau. The inmate repeatedly scratched and hit Deputy Mayberry in the face and throat, spit in his face and gouged something into one of his eyes. Deputy Mayberry suffered serious injuries and required medical treatment at a hospital.
After this incident occurred, BSO’s Department of Detention conducted a thorough review of the matter, as is policy in all use of force. Supervisors reviewed surveillance camera footage, conducted interviews and took photographs of Deputy Mayberry and inmate [redacted]. Inmate [redacted] refused to speak with a BSO lieutenant about the incident. Multiple reviews of the incident, including a preliminary review by BSO’s Division of Internal Affairs, identified no misconduct by Deputy Mayberry as the level of force used by him was an objectively reasonable response to the sudden attack he defended himself from and therefore no Internal Affairs investigation was warranted.
Generally speaking, in these types of incidents and based on the totality of the circumstances, it is at the discretion of the deputy whether to file an additional charge against an inmate. It is not uncommon for deputies assaulted by inmates housed in the North Broward Bureau due to mental health concerns to decline criminal charges.”
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