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Supporters rally for 70-year-old woman tased in her home by Florida deputy

Posted at 6:45 AM, Jan 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-01 08:48:37-05

BRADENTON, Fla. — Supporters are rallying against alleged police brutality after deputies used a stun gun on a 70-year-old woman in her own home Dec. 26.

Cell phone video shows Manatee County deputy Jason Riley using a stun gun on 70-year-old Barbara Pinkney. Pinkney's supporters say the incident is an example of racial issues that have plagued the community and law enforcement.

Deputies came to her home with an arrest warrant last week for Pinkney's grandson, Tevin Turner.

"If you have a 70-year-old person, you're coming to the door. You don't know what kind of mental health state she's in. Does she have dementia? Does she have a pacemaker?" activist Rodney Jones, who helped organize Tuesday's rally, said.

Deputies did not find Turner inside the home, and later arrested Pinkney arrested on obstruction and battery charges. The deputy says she was pushing him.

Under Florida law, deputies are allowed to enter a home with an arrest warrant if they have reason to believe a suspect is inside.

Manatee Co. deputy tases 70-year-old woman while attempting to make arrest at her home (cell phone footage)

Officials are investigating whether deputies used excessive force to execute the search warrant.

"To forcefully do what they were doing, I think it's the worst thing in the world, and they go as far as to stun gun her three times. Three times. A 70-year-old woman. I can't believe that that is part of their training," Jones said.

Jones was arrested at a Manatee County school board meeting in October after speaking out of turn and arguing with officers. Police later dropped those charges.

Jones and other supporters at the rally say they don't want the incident swept under the rug.

"We're just standing up against racism. We stand up not just for black people. We stand up for all of the oppressed. It's not just black people. A lot of people are experiencing bad things, but here in Manatee County, it is definitely targeted behavior toward blacks," Jones said.

The deputy involved in the Dec. 26 incident is on administrative duties until the investigation is complete.

The sheriff's office is attempting to obtain more videos that witnesses may have taken inside the home at the time.

This story was originally published by Wendi Lane on WFTS in Tampa, Florida.