The Broward Public Defender’s Office in Florida lodged a complaint this week against a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy with a history of making false arrests after shocking bodycam footage from a July 2017 incident surfaced last month.
In it, Deputy James Cady drops several f-bombs as he confronts African-American father Allen Floyd, who was seated on a sidewalk holding his infant son in his arms. Cady, who’s been the subject of two internal affairs investigations, continuously refers to Floyd as “boy” in an encounter that soon escalated into him gripping the man by the throat.
“When I saw it, I was floored,” said Gordon Weekes, the county’s executive chief assistant public defender.
The public defender’s office uncovered the footage while preparing to defend Johnnymae Dardy, who was watching Floyd’s 9-month-old son when deputies approached her at the Red Carpet in on July 25, 2017, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported, citing a probable cause affidavit. Police responded to the Dania Beach motel amid reports of an intoxicated woman who had broken a TV in the room she was staying.
Dardy reportedly became combative with officers during the incident and was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and child neglect.
As for Floyd, the local father wasn’t under investigation for any crime, nor was he acting aggressively toward deputies, according to The Miami Herald.
The bodycam video begins with Cady repeatedly demanding to see Floyd’s ID, to which the man asks “what for?” He instead states his name and shows the deputy pictures on his cell phone to prove he’s the little boy’s father.
This didn’t sit well with Cady, who soon launched into a expletive-laden fit.
“OK, fine, I’m going to take her (Dardy) to jail because she’s got a warrant and I’m going to call child services on this kid!” he yells.
As Floyd tries to explain, the deputy shouts, “Quit f—– with me, boy! You hear me? Get your ID! Now!”
BSO Deputy Debbra Bridgman, who filled out the probable cause affidavit, was also on the scene and is heard ordering Floyd to show his ID. Dardy, who’d been seated in a car, tries to step in but Cady screams at her to get “Get your ass back in the car! I’m tired of you f—– playing games!”
At one point, Floyd asks the deputy why he’s being so hostile, to which he replies, “because you’re giving me s–t, and I am tired of it.” Floyd gets up from the curb, his child still in his arms, and attempts to walk away before turning and telling Cady to “stop calling me boy!!” That’s when the deputy grabs him by the arm and appears to choke him. Bridgman quickly takes the baby from his arms.
“I told you my name! Why are you grabbing me?” Floyd screams with his arms spread wide. “I didn’t do nothing.” Meanwhile, his son is heard wailing in the background.
Floyd didn’t get arrested that night and said he didn’t file a complaint in 2017 because he was worried about possibly losing custody of his son.
Discovery of the bodycam video last month prompted Broward Public Defender Howard Finkelstein to pen a letter to newly appointed Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony.
“Deputy Cady’s verbal assault, coupled with him choking an otherwise cooperative bystander can only be characterized as unlawful touching,” Finkelstein wrote in a letter dated Jan. 30. “In addition, Deputy Cady’s use of the term ‘boy’ is offensive, condescending and demeaning. It carries racial connotations when used while addressing an adult Black male.”
Weekes also noted to the Sun-Sentinel that Floyd was within his rights to only give Cady his name, not his ID, because he wasn’t the one being investigated that night. Floyd identified himself several times, and from that point, officers had many ways to verify his identity.
In a response letter, Tony thanked the public defender for bringing the incident to his attention and said the department would investigate.
“A cursory search of our system shows that no complaint was made prior to receiving your letter,” he wrote. “Our Division of Internal Affairs will provide you with a response upon conducting a thorough examination.”
It should be noted that the use of force against Floyd is never mentioned in the probable cause affidavit, nor does it mention that Cady was among the deputies on the scene that night, according to Local 10 News, which obtained copies of the report.
In his letter, Finklestein noted the deputy’s past trouble with the department, including a previous wrongful arrest lawsuit, where Cady was found liable for using a stun gun, tackling and beating a man in 2009. His personnel file also includes Internal Affairs investigations for conduct unbecoming an employee (result: unfounded) and use of force (result: exonerated) stemming from a June 2003 investigation, The Miami Herald reported.
A second investigation in 2010 coincides with the first of two federal lawsuits against Cady that cost Broward County nearly $680,000.
A spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office said the latest case involving Cady will be turned over to their office pending the results of the sheriff’s investigation.
Watch more in the video below.
Florida @BrowardSheriff cop with history of making false arrests harasses, curses at black father calmly holding his baby, repeatedly calls him "boy." SEE FULL VIDEO AT https://t.co/oRNcDRb0JH pic.twitter.com/a5fYB8AoK8
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) February 9, 2019