Warning: The video above is taken from body cam footage of the incident. It contains graphic scenes including profanity, nudity and violence and may be disturbing to some viewers.
The Blue Paper has obtained a copy of a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office internal affairs report. The report states that Deputy Jon Riggs “became enraged” at a swimmer who refused to get out of the water.
The naked man, who the report says, had committed no crime and posed no threat was pepper sprayed at least five times – once at extremely close range. Riggs even attempted to tase him, and to get in the water and “choke [him] out,” threatened to gaff him, threatened to drown him and ultimately used a potentially lethal choke hold to remove him from the water.
According to the internal affairs report, even though it was clear that the man was suffering a drug or mental episode, Deputy Riggs had begun to deploy a taser and pepper spray within minutes of arriving on scene.
The report concludes that the use of a taser on a subject who is in water was tantamount to the use of lethal force. “We are extremely fortunate,” wrote the investigator, “that this incident did not result in serious injury or loss of life.”
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