Video has surfaced showing a Florida deputy choking and using a taser on an unarmed transgender woman in 2020.
In the video, Deputy Sean Bush of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office can be seen responding suddenly and violently after Jenny DeLeon, then 24, appeared to touch him, slamming her to the ground before choking and tasing her.
DeLeon, who was found murdered last November, was charged with battery and resisting arrest. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail after receiving credit for time served.
"Following review of body-worn camera video, HCSO launched a thorough and timely internal investigation," a spokesperson for the HCSO spokesperson told HuffPost in a statement. "It was determined that while responding to the domestic violence incident, the suspect continuously refused to follow commands on scene and was physically combative with the deputy. The suspect grabbed the deputy's wrist, throwing him off balance, and at that time, the deputy unintentionally briefly used techniques that are not in line with HCSO's procedures."
The video shows police responding to a report of domestic violence from the house. DeLeon, who appears inebriated in the video, can be seen speaking with Bush, giving him multiple fist bumps while refusing him entry into her home. She denied anyone placed a call from the house, and demanded Bush exit her property and go back to his car to find more information about the call.
At some point during the conversation, DeLeon moves close to Bush, who then claimed she touched him although the contact cannot be seen on the video. Bush immediately grabs DeLeon and throws her to the ground and briefly grabs her neck. The two struggle and Bush throws DeLeon into a planter area and tases her. Other officers soon join in, telling a struggling DeLeon to quit resisting arrest. Bush can again be seen placing his hands around DeLeon's neck, apparently choking her briefly.
(Editor's Note: The below image may be upsetting for some readers.)
Bush was later cleared of any charges for his actions in a standards letter dated March 1, 2021. According to the letter obtained by HuffPost, HCSO called the chokehold "brief and unintentional" but found no evidence of "excessive or unnecessary force" and claimed Bush's actions were "admittedly not part of any training" received by Bush from HCSO.
DeLeon's body was found last November in Tampa and police ruled her death a homicide. DeLeon was the fourth transgender person murdered in Florida in 2021 and one of 57 transgender people murdered last year. Last March police charged Damien Marshall for the murder of DeLeon and another woman, Linda Harris, 90, whose body was found in a house under construction in Tampa. Marshall was in jail after having been arrested in November of last year for failing to register as a sex offender.
(Editor's Note: The below video may be upsetting for some readers.)