Video allegedly shows corrections deputy striking inmate, deputy could face criminal charges

Published: Aug. 16, 2019 at 10:01 AM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Now that an internal investigation has been completed, the State Attorney’s Office will have to determine if charges will be pressed against a former corrections deputy for allegedly punching an inmate.

Around 1am on August 4, 2019 at the Manatee County Jail, the sheriff's office says 34-year-old Louis Valentin assaulted an inmate while in the Disciplinary Pod Exercise Yard and the incident was caught on camera.

The incident was reported and the sheriff's office started an investigation, which could have resulted in Valentin's termination. The sheriff's office says he resigned four days after the incident, before the investigation was completed.

The investigation concluded that Valentin, who Valentin had been a corrections deputy since being hired in December 2015, was guilty of unlawful conduct and two counts of conduct unbecoming.

"This is not how our deputies are trained, and this type of behavior will not be tolerated at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. Standards are in place to prevent incidents like this from happening, but when a deputy or employee fails to follow our rules they will face consequences for their actions, to include termination and criminal prosecution," said Sheriff Rick Wells.

"Recently, there has been a pattern of abusive conduct among a small percentage of the approximately 300 corrections employees, of which those four have been criminally charged. This culture has been identified, and all deputies in our Corrections Bureau are currently going through additional training."

The sheriff’s office sent a capias request for battery to the State Attorney’s Office on August 15th. It will now be up to their office to determine if criminal charges will be filed against Valentin.

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