Lisa J. Huriash Contact Reporter
South Florida Sun Sentinel
A deputy is facing an internal affairs investigation after a video shows him calling a black man “boy” in an expletive-filled encounter that escalated into grabbing the man by the throat.
Deputy James Cady’s body camera recorded his exchange with Allen Floyd outside a Dania Beach hotel in July 2017. Public defenders said they were stunned by Cady’s behavior in the video, which they watched recently while preparing for the coming trial of a woman arrested that night.
In the video, Floyd stayed seated on a sidewalk, holding his baby, while the deputy demanded to see his identification. “For what?” Floyd asked, then shaking his head at him.
Floyd told the deputy his name. The deputy, reacting to Floyd not showing ID, threatened to arrest him and have the child removed by child protective services.
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The deputy yelled, “Quit f—— with me, boy!” and, seconds later, “I’m going to f— you up,” the footage shows. At one point in the video, the deputy grabbed Floyd’s throat.
“When I saw it, I was floored,” said Gordon Weekes, the executive chief public defender. It was within Floyd’s legal right to give the deputy only his name, not his ID, because he wasn’t the subject of the investigation that night, Weekes said.
Full video: A deputy’s body camera recorded an exchange between the deputy and a man holding a baby outside a Dania Beach hotel in July 2017.
On the night of the encounter, deputies were called to the Red Carpet Inn, responding to a report of an intoxicated woman who had broken a TV in Room 397. The motel wanted her evicted. The woman, Johnnymae Dardy, was watching Floyd’s 9-month-old baby.
Dardy, accused of being combative with deputies and trying to twice grab a deputy’s groin, faces four charges, including assault on a law enforcement officer and child neglect.
During the encounter, Floyd had questioned why the deputy was hostile. He told the deputy to “stop calling me ‘boy,’” then got up and tried to walk away. “I don’t want no problems with y’all,” Floyd told him. “You are standing there ‘calling me boy, grabbing me by my neck.’” He then showed his identification.
Floyd was not arrested, he never filed a complaint, and the whole matter appeared to be over.
Then the Public Defender’s Office reviewed the body-camera footage in preparation for Dardy’s upcoming trial.
“This video depicts a clear display of police abuse,” Weekes wrote in a Jan. 30 letter to Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony. The deputy’s “use of the term ‘Boy’ is offensive, condescending and demeaning. It carries racial connotations when used while addressing an adult black male.”
Tony, who was appointed the new sheriff by the governor last month, replied in a letter to the Public Defender’s Office on Feb. 1, saying there will be an internal investigation.
“Thank you for bringing this matter that occurred in July 2017 to my attention,” Tony replied. “A cursory search of our system shows that no complaint was made prior to receiving your letter. Our Division of Internal Affairs will provide you a response upon conducting a thorough examination.”
Cady couldn’t be reached for comment Friday despite a message left for him at a listed number.
Weekes also has asked prosecutors to investigate whether the deputy committed battery. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said they will wait for the results of the sheriff’s investigation.
“If there is criminal conduct found, the case will be turned over to our office,” said Kristi Grimm, spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office.
Cady has drawn scrutiny before while on the job.
In 2011, a federal jury awarded a Weston resident $250,000 who sued Cady for a wrongful arrest. The man was arrested in December 2009 during a party in Dania Beach, but his obstruction of justice charge later was dropped.
The man said Cady had “tackled me like a football player” after he asked for his name and badge number and questioned why two friends were being arrested during the house party.
The man’s friends, a Dania Beach couple who hosted the party, settled separately with the agency for $350,000 in 2013 after saying deputies wrongfully arrested them over a noise complaint. The lawsuit said the husband was stunned several times with a Taser, tackled and beaten in front of his children and friends. Three deputies, including Cady, were named as defendants.
In the recent case, Weekes said the fact the deputy has not been removed from road patrol during the investigation is “kind of problematic and an example of why people don’t say anything. We made a complaint and still, silence. No outrage. What they are saying to officers is that type of behavior is acceptable with their silence.
“And that is the most offensive part of this.”
The Sheriff’s Office declined to comment further, so it was not clear whether Cady was reassigned during the inquiry.