Police Video Shows Improper Take-Down by Fired Denton Jailer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man arrested on public intoxication charges was slammed to the concrete floor in a Denton Jail cell and it was caught on camera. A Denton jailer was terminated for excessive force. WARNING: This video may be disturbing to watch. (Published Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014)

    The Denton Police Department released the jail surveillance video publicly on Wednesday of the July 19 event that left 38-year-old Jason Bishop injured and one of the department’s jailers fired for excessive force.

    In the nearly 20 minute long video, Bishop is seen being brought into the city jail and booked for public intoxication charges after being arrested in the Fry Street area near the University of North Texas.

    About five minutes into the video, police spokesman Ryan Grelle said Bishop was not following directions asked of him by jailers and, as is protocol, they lifted him off a bench and took him to a holding cell.

    When Bishop was lifted from the bench, he appears to hit his head on the jail counter, but Grelle said contact was never apparently made and no injuries resulted.

    What happened next, though, lead to quite a stir on social media and the eventual investigation by police.

    As jailer Darius Porter brought Bishop into the holding cell, he applied a leg sweep that resulted in Bishop falling face-first into the concrete floor.

    After lying face down on the jail floor for nearly two minutes, Bishop rolled over to reveal a pool of blood where he landed.

    A second jailer left the room, Grelle said, to call for medics.

    Porter stayed with Bishop and appeared to assist him with the injures using a white cloth until paramedics arrived and bandaged him up.

    Eventually, at the end of the video, Bishop was escorted to an ambulance where he was transported to Denton Regional Medical Center.

    Our partners at the Denton Record Chronicle report he was treated for a facial contusion, broken nose, lip abrasion and wrist injury with 19 stitches.

    Police said Bishop signed a ticket for public intoxication and was released. They said he did come back to the station Wednesday morning and met with internal affairs.

    As a result of the investigation, police determined Porter did not properly apply the leg sweep in line with department policy.

    Grelle and another officer demonstrated that the move is supposed to be done with two officers, one holding each arm, and taking the person to the ground slowly in a controlled manner.

    Porter was fired from the department last Friday.

    Grelle said from the department’s standpoint, the case is closed and was simply an unfortunate incident.

    “We are absolutely sorry that it happened to him,” said Grelle. “That is not a normal takedown that we usually do.”

    Grelle said it would be up to Bishop if he chooses to pursue any charges against Porter.

    Police said they have had upward of 20 dealings with Bishop in the past and that he indicated to them in interviews that he had been arrested in other cities as well.

    Grelle said they wanted to show the entire 20 minute video and release it publicly to clear up what happened that day; especially after outcry on social media against the department.

    "There's a lot of rumors going around that he was beaten in the jail, he was handcuffed in the jail, that it wasn't a leg sweep that took him down and caused the facial injuries. We wanted to be transparent and let people see that this is what happened,” he said.

    He added that upon entering the jail, Bishop was not reporting any other injuries.

    We did reach out to Bishop for comment, but he did not return our calls.

    The faces of the other jailers and medics in the video were blurred due to Texas Local Government Code Article 143.090; a procedure Grelle said they had to follow before it was released to not reveal the other officers’ identities without their permission.