Nassau County, Florida, Deputy Troy Gill was caught on video (below) using a belt to beat a young girl, believed to be his daughter, while being filmed by his son.
Sheriff Bill Leeper said Gill was placed on administrative duty pending an investigation into the incident, notes WJXT.
Florida's Department of Children and Families (DCF) released a statement about the investigation:
The Department of Children and Families is currently investigating this case. We have just recently been made aware of the video, and we are concerned about its contents.
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The first priority of our agency is to ensure child safety, and we are currently working to do that. We are gathering additional information at this time. Due to the state confidentiality laws, we are unable to disclose further details.
Gill's wife, Rachel, was suspended from her job as a corrections officer by the Baker County Sheriff's Office while the investigation takes place.
Gill is seen hitting the girl with a belt, notes WJAX, and yelling: "Go get your f****** shirt now! I'm gonna whoop that mother****** some more ... You better shut the f*** up!"
Leeper said his office would investigate Gill after the DCF does:
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We have removed the deputy from his patrol responsibilities and referred it to DCF to investigate and determine if any laws have been violated. Once their investigation is complete we will refer it our internal affairs for review.
Gill's house appears to have damage to walls, wires hanging from the ceiling, and is in a state of disarray.
Crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson gave his opinion of the video to WJAX: "He could lose his job if he is charged with something, be it child abuse or something else."
While the sheriff's office and DCF assert they were only recently made aware of the video, The Free Thought Project reports the video was online for months:
The video was posted to YouTube in July. However, it was only recently noticed by the Nassau County Sheriff’s department. The video, titled "How no (sic) to discipline a child," has since been removed from YouTube "for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines."