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SPD arrest footage
Sarasota Tuesday, Jul. 28, 2015 5 years ago

SPD officer under investigation after tossing food at arrestee

The Sarasota Police Department has placed an officer on leave after becoming aware of his treatment of an individual at the Sarasota County jail.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

After viewing footage of Officer Andrew Halpin throwing food at an individual being booked at the Sarasota County jail earlier this month, the Sarasota Police Department has begun an investigation into the incident.

Video footage of the booking, provided by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, shows Halpin attempting to toss food into the mouth of a handcuffed man, who appears to be intoxicated. Later, when the man falls to the ground and attempts to eat the food off the floor, Halpin can be seen kicking the food toward the man.

Three other law enforcement employees — two sherriff’s office deputies and one Venice Police Department officer — watch on during the incident, which took place around 11 p.m. July 18.

In a release Monday, the police department announced that Halpin has been placed on administrative leave pending the results of an investigation.

“I’m disappointed in what I saw in this video,” SPD Chief Bernadette DiPino said in the release. “Due to the actions I’ve seen on camera, I immediately initiated an internal affairs investigation.”

A Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman confirmed that the department’s employees were also being investigated for their role in the incident.

Watch the complete footage of the incident below. Halpin first approaches the man approximately three minutes into the video.


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