JUSTICE

VIDEO: Deputy Drags Mentally Ill Woman Through Courthouse

Feb 24, 2015 at 11:18 AM ET

“Stop! You’re hurting me!” 28-year-old Dasyl Jeanette Rios yells as a deputy drags her down the hallway of a courthouse in Broward County, Florida. “You’re fucking hurting me! I hate my life! I wish they would kill me already! Why do I have to be alive?”

Rios had just been declared mentally ill by the court, where she was being tried in a felony trespassing case. Officers told Rios to sit down on a bench, but when she refused after being told she could not say goodbye to her mother, Broward Deputy Christopher Johnson—a 27-year veteran of the department—grabbed her shackled feet and proceeded to pull her down the hall.

Chief Assistant Public Defender Lynn Desanti witnessed the incident, which left her deeply disturbed, according to WSVN, a Fort Lauderdale news station. “I could hear screaming, and I could see a deputy yelling at somebody, and all I could hear was, ‘If you don’t get up, I’m going to drag you,'” she said. “He dragged her all throughout the courthouse until she went to the holding cell.”

Desanti’s husband, attorney Bill Gelin, also witnessed the scene and filmed it on his phone. “They could have had a wheelchair. They could have had a stretcher. They could have had somebody with just the slightest bit of compassion,” he told WSVN. “This is really barbaric, and I’m just extremely disappointed. We all work together in the court system, particularly in the criminal justice system, and this just gives everybody a black eye.”