Woman Says She Was Beaten By Florida Deputies After Requesting Tampon (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Screen Capture.Screen Capture.

Audra West was arrested in 2014 for alleged disorderly conduct and resisting arrest at a bar in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida.

While West was being held in a local jail, a Broward Sheriff Office deputy was caught on a newly released surveillance video (below) pushing West across a room, against the apparent objections of a fellow deputy, reports Local 10 News.

There is no audio on the surveillance video, but West claims she asked Deputy Kristin Connelly for a tampon, but Connelly told her to ask nicely. West says she asked again, Connelly refused, and West replied, "F*** you."

The jail doesn't give female inmates tampons, only sanitary pads.

Connelly put on some latex gloves and walked towards West, but was blocked (in the video) by Deputy Henry Lawrence.

An unidentified female witness, seen sitting in the video, told Local 10 news, "This is when (Lawrence) tells (Connelly), 'No, don't do it.'"

Connelly appears to walk around Lawrence to get to West on the video.

The witness added, "She grabbed the girl up and starting, like, swinging her back and forth. I'm sitting there and I'm just in shock."

The witness said West did not provoke Connelly physically.

After being dragged across the room, West says she tried to defend herself against Connelly.

"It's only human nature to defend herself," West's attorney, Gary Kollin, stated.

Connelly forced West into a small strip-search room, and Deputies Joyce Johnson and Dorothy Jenkins followed them in.

There were no video cameras inside the small room, but Connelly and Johnson brought West out of the room almost four minutes later; West had severe bruises and a black eye.

West told Local 10 News in 2014, "(Connelly) punched me in the face several times. There were other guards that were in there kicking me."

"I went in jail with no bruises and I came out covered in bruises. I just don't want it to happen to anyone else," West said.

West filed a complaint against Connelly and the other officers six days later, and the next day Connelly filed a probable cause affidavit calling for criminal charges (assault and resisting arrest) against West.

It's not clear why Connelly waited a full seven days to file the criminal complaint. Connelly also claimed she had been injured in the incident with West, but failed to mention why those injuries had not been reported at the time.

The state attorney's office refused to file charges against West and wrote in a report:

"This attorney has viewed photos of the defendant and the video supplied by internal affairs. In viewing the video, I did not see where Audra West presented a physical threat to the deputy before being forcefully dragged out of her chair into a room with four other deputies, where Audra West was allegedly beaten."

Connelly claimed West tried to kick her in the small room, and that she ended up "striking (West) with a closed right fist two times to the left side of the face."

Johnson admitted she punched West in the ribs to make her comply.

Jenkins, who was in the small room with the two deputies and West, claims she never saw West struck by Connelly or Johnson.

Also, Lawrence doesn't go into the small room to help the female deputies who claimed West was refusing to comply.

Despite the contradictions among the deputies and video evidence, the Broward Sheriff Office cleared Connelly of wrongdoing.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said in a written statement:

"The Professional Standards Committee (PSC), which is made up of a mix of BSO employees and private citizens, reviewed the video and entire IA file and recommended no discipline for all three employees. The PSC determined the actions taken were within the policy."

The Broward Sheriff's Office website does not identify who is specifically on the PSC.

Kollin is preparing a civil lawsuit for West against the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Sources: Local 10 News 1, Local 10 News 2, Broward Sheriff's Office
Image Credit: Local 10 News Screenshot