Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said there is no way to defend what is clear in the surveillance video.
“You clearly saw this inmate was in handcuffs and she just took a big swing at her,” he said.
Investigators said the video, released Tuesday, shows Cpl. Leann Hindman dealing with a female inmate Monday inside the Land O’ Lakes Jail. The Sheriff's Office fired her Tuesday.
You can see Hindman push the handcuffed inmate into a chair. Seconds later, she smacks her across the face.
According to the arrest report, Hindman claims the inmate used profanity and threw a cup of water on her, although that’s not seen in the video.
Hindman also told investigators the inmate struggled with her and pinched her hand as she tried to cuff her.
She said that’s what led to the slap, although the video shows otherwise.
“We understand that those who work in detention have a very tough job. When you hear there was a slap, you say let me just see the evidence. When you see it, there was no way. She was handcuffed,” Nocco said.
Another detention deputy reported the incident. Hindman, who worked for the Sheriff’s Office since 1995, was arrested on battery charges and fired.
“If there was a fight, and the fight was on, that’s one thing, If the inmate was swinging at her, but when you have an inmate that’s in cuffs, can’t defend herself. It just seems like emotions got the better of her,” Nocco said.
The Sheriff’s Office didn’t release the inmate’s identity, but the arrest report said her face was red after the incident.