Police officer allegedly pointed gun at handcuffed black man’s head after he refused to give his identity

‘Sgt Amin’s actions, the violation of public trust and the dishonouring of his oath to serve and protect, is despicable,’ says Hillsborough County sheriff Chad Chronister 

James Crump@thejamescrump
Monday 13 July 2020 20:33
Officer fired after allegedly pointing gun at handcuffed black man's head to get name

A sergeant in a Florida Sheriff’s office has been arrested and fired after he allegedly pointed a gun at an African American man’s head because he would not identify himself.

Janak Amin, of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was fired on Friday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after he threatened the life of a man who was already in police custody, according to the Daily Mail.

Last Thursday, the man, who has not been named, was accidentally transferred from Hillsborough County Jail to the DACCO Behavioural Health Centre, and left the facility once he was alone.

After the authorities realised the mistake, they went looking for the inmate and managed to detain him after they found him hiding behind a trailer, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The man was detained in the “prone position” and Amin knelt next to the inmate, pulled out his gun and threatened his life, “simply because he refused to identify himself,” Hillsborough County sheriff Chad Chronister told reporters.

He added: “Sgt Amin’s actions, the violation of public trust and the dishonouring of his oath to serve and protect, is despicable.”

Mr Chronister said that the man did not initially confirm his identity to officers, as he was “scared to death,” but the other officials on duty managed to calm him down and he eventually told them his name.

The sheriff said that the man “was not armed and made no aggressive actions towards our deputies,” and added: “I assure you, he wasn’t being uncooperative.

“The bottom line is there is no reason, no rationale or justification why anyone had to point a gun at his head and threaten his life simply because he refused to identify himself.”

There has been greater scrutiny on excessive force used by police in recent months, following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd, while in the custody of a then Minneapolis police officer.

Protests in opposition to police brutality against African Americans have taken place in every state across the US and demonstrators and some politicians have called for nationwide police reform.

Mr Chronister told reporters that the other officers involved in the inmate’s arrest defused the incident and immediately reported it to the Sheriff’s office, as is the department’s policy.

Mr Chronister added: “I don’t think this incident is indicative of who Sgt Amin is, but, regardless, it takes only one incidence to violate the oath that you take, the public’s trust and break the law.

“There is absolutely no reason, no excuse and no justification for why this sergeant acted the way he did.”

Mr Amin, who had been with the force for 21 years, was booked at the Hillsborough County Jail on Friday, but freed from custody after he posted the $2,000 (£1,585) bail set.

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