Posted: Mar 01, 2017 4:25 PM EDT Updated: Mar 02, 2017 10:38 AM EDT
A Lee County deputy was fired after an internal investigation revealed he used excessive force and lied on official documents.
Deputy Raymond Gallagher was placed under investigation by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office in October.
A witness reported to law enforcement that he saw Gallagher use force he didn’t believe looked necessary on a woman during a traffic stop.
The driver of the car involved in the traffic stop turned into a shopping center at Six Mile Cypress and Gladiolus when Gallagher pulled her over. The witness told investigators Gallagher approached the vehicle with his gun drawn, yelled profanities, and pulled the victim from the vehicle. Video from Gallagher’s dashboard camera on his patrol vehicle revealed a similar story.
In the arrest report, Gallagher said the victim drove away after he made contact, but investigators found that never happened. Gallagher also failed to document injuries from the female being removed from the vehicle, an act he described as “helping,” a description internal investigators disagreed with.
Gallagher was then fired from his position as a Lee County deputy.
The man who filed the complaint is described as familiar with law enforcement protocol and said Gallagher escalated the encounter.
The woman stopped by Gallagher told NBC2 the whole thing ruined her life, saying she was left bruised and battered. She and others involved in this case did not want to go on camera to comment.
Sheriff Mike Scott denied our request for an interview. In a department-issued news release, Scott said, “Mr. Gallagher fell far short of our expectations, training, and policy, and we dealt with him swiftly and surely. I will not tolerate behavior like that.”
Fort Myers residents say they depend on deputies to uphold truth and justice.
“They want people that are going to act appropriately in each situation and uphold the law,” said Mindy Nixon.
Attorneys for the victim report they were never made aware of a witness to the incident during their investigation and discovery throughout the case. They’ll be reviewing the internal investigation and their case to determine if a violation occurred.
The 11-page internal report shows that Gallagher was investigated by the agency in 2014 for insubordination. He served two weeks suspension and was put on probation for one year in that case.