TPD officer fired, will likely face charges after slamming handcuffed suspect into wall at jail

·2 min read

A first-year Tallahassee Police officer was fired and is likely to face criminal charges after a fight with a man who was being booked at the Leon County jail.

About two hours after the Tallahassee Democrat first reported the incident, TPD Chief Lawrence Revell announced in a press release Monday evening that Officer Charles Hansford was fired amid a criminal investigation. State Attorney Jack Campbell told the Democrat earlier he “would anticipate charges in the future.”

In a prepared statement, Revell said the incident was a violation of TPD’s policies.

"We hold the men and women who wear this uniform to the highest standards," Revell said. "We take incidents like this very seriously and will hold those who violate the department's policies responsible."

TPD released a 1-minute video of the incident after officers stopped the man at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 18 after a crash near the intersection of Blair Stone and Centerville roads. The man performed poorly on sobriety tests, according to TPD, and he was taken into custody on charges of driving under the influence.

See video of the incident here

The video shows the arrested man, Hansford, and another first-year officer, Edward Campbell, walking into the main sally port entrance of the Leon County Detention Facility.

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A police report of the incident says the defendant was "belligerent and loud" during transport to the jail but eventually calmed down. It notes that he and Hansford, who administered a breath test to determine blood alcohol level got into an argument but does not indicate any use of force by the officer.

In Monday night's press release, police said there was a “heated” argument between Hansford and the handcuffed man, who has not been identified, after which the officer slammed the handcuffed man against the wall.

“While preparing to take the arrestee inside for intake, Hansford physically engaged with the arrestee, despite the arrestee being handcuffed,” police wrote in the press release. “No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.”

Campbell separated the men and de-escalated the situation, according to TPD. The video shows Campbell pushing Hansford to the ground.

"His quick action helped de-escalate the situation and is reflective of the tactics taught in TPD's extensive training," TPD said in a statement.

Both he and Hansford, who was initially put on administrative leave before being fired, were hired in 2020.

Contact Karl Etters at ketters@tallahassee.com or @KarlEtters on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Tallahassee Police officer may be criminally charged after jail fight

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