‘Angered’ Sheriff Fires Deputy After Man Dies In ECSO Custody

May 23, 2022

Describing himself as “angered’ over body cam footage, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said Monday that he has terminated a newly-hired probationary deputy involved in the death of man in ECSO custody last Friday.

Deputies responded to a call of an individual acting erratic and potentially suffering from a mental health episode at Beverly Parkway and W Street, next to the Victor Randall Stadium at the Brent Athletic Park. He was taken into custody for a mental health evaluation.

The suspect was placed into the floor of the ECSO cruiser head-first where he was monitored by deputies that decided a few minutes later to remove him from the vehicle.

“He stood there for a period of time, but his medical condition deteriorated quickly,” the sheriff said. EMS was called, and the man was placed in a “recovery position” on his side.

“I wish that we would have done things better. I think that we can do better than what we did on Friday afternoon,” Simmons said. “I’m not saying that what I saw was criminal in nature. What I’m saying is that we have a set of standards, and anything that happens below those standards is unacceptable. When I saw the video and I saw some of the interactions that they had, quite frankly it angered me. This is not what we train our deputies to do; this is not the expectation that I have for our deputies.”

“This level will be adhered to at all times,” he continued.

“I can’t ignore what I see on our body cameras. I can’t ignore actions that fall below our standards.”

While limited in his comments by the ongoing investigation, he did say those standards involve a level of compassion.

“I think that we have a duty to care for the people that are in our custody or that we engage with,” he said. “I think that there were some things that we could have done. I think the fact that we put him on the floor of the cruiser car and he ended up on his stomach in the floor of the cruiser car, to me, is unacceptable….I think that we could have done better, and I wish that we had done better.”

The sheriff said the man’s cause of death has not yet been determined, and he was not saying that the deputies’ actions led to his death.

Simmons said the body camera footage cannot be released by his department due to an open FDLE investigation.

Any disciplinary action, the sheriff said, against the other two deputies involved in the incident will be determined by the outcome of the concurrent ECSO and FDLE investigation. The names of the deputies involved have not been released.

It is expected to be weeks, or even months, before the investigation is completed.

Comments

21 Responses to “‘Angered’ Sheriff Fires Deputy After Man Dies In ECSO Custody”

  1. MARY THRASHER on May 27th, 2022 2:06 pm

    JUSTICEFORFRANK

  2. Kane on May 25th, 2022 12:59 pm

    @Janet @Bod apparently neither of you know how seizures work. A medical bracelet is something worn on the body you have to be able to see it for it to be helpful. When someone with epilepsy or other neurological conditions that cause seizures are having said seizure, they have NO CONTROL OVER THEMSELVES.

    I know this because I have an elderly mother-in-law who has been having random unpredictable seizures for the last 30 years of her life. They range in severity from a full grand mal seizure that puts her on the floor convulsing. Then there are the “halos” these are seizure “episodes” that cause her to display dementia and Alzheimer type symptoms.

    She has jumped out the car and ran up the interstate (it was stopped on the side of the road). She has gone up and down the street in the dead of night opening mailboxes. Sometimes she is COMBATIVE. When she is in combative mode you will not be reading a medical bracelet on her arm, I’ll tell you what.

  3. VFD on May 25th, 2022 11:06 am

    At Jenn, I personally had to come to several calls for Shaun. He is very polite and has a great heart. He goes out helps the community he even comes up to our substation and cuts the grass there. We are aware of his situation, he gets very violent not knowing. He I think was one of the most serious cases there was if I remember correctly. I think he was trying to say there needs to be more training on all this as we are trained at alot but 99% of the time people fake and do things and lot of times we misinterpret bc of all the stuff people are on. Congratulations on being hateful and rude, and apparently you need to educate yourself on several things.. God bless praying for the family. Mental health is serious.

  4. Just me on May 25th, 2022 9:25 am

    In remarks to Jenn: For your information Shaun Qualls was wearing a medical alert bracelet: maybe you should read about epilepsy to get a better understanding on epilepsy. Your remarks was rude and uncalled for you have no knowledge of what was going on and know nothing about Shaun’s illness.

  5. William in Beulah on May 25th, 2022 9:12 am

    Some of y’all need to work on your reading comprehension, take Bob’s comment for example. Bob is saying that we the people are supposed to be the ones with the power, he is not saying that we do have the power and Bob is correct. Sabrae’s comment was also taken out of context!!

  6. Russell on May 25th, 2022 7:24 am

    Who will police the police?

  7. Bob on May 25th, 2022 7:15 am

    @Janet

    …you don’t believe that police officers should be held accountable for their actions?

    That’s mental.

  8. Janet on May 25th, 2022 4:52 am

    @ Bob
    You,we, have no power over anyone.
    Your disillusioned.
    Have another drink!

  9. Bob on May 24th, 2022 10:08 pm

    @Janet

    Yes. Absolutely. We the People are the ones who are supposed to have the power over public servants. Anyone who claims to serve the public should also be accountable to the public as well.

    If you abuse the authority that we have vested you with then you should be stripped of that authority and charged to the full extent of the law.

  10. Jenn on May 24th, 2022 1:00 pm

    At..Shaun Qualls
    Perhaps you think EMTS,LEO..Should read your mind.
    You need training on how to attach an medical I.D. bracelet.
    You definitely need training on other things I might add.
    God be with you.
    Dont blame everyone due to your ignorace of communication skills or lack there of!

  11. Shaun Qualls on May 24th, 2022 10:42 am

    THEY CHARGED ME FOR EPILEPSY, After Documents, Letter’s from professors and neurologist at UAB along with video documents I couldn’t even get a response from them. I’d rather die than someone call 911 on me having a seizure due to my postictal agitation I become very violent i bit two emts and spit blood on officer came to handcuffed behind my back to my ankles in Esc County where i ended up having no medical attention which lead to more brain damage. I should have sued the county for everything. They arent trained in Nothing. Since then i have made it appoint to let them know of my disability, on just how violent i do get. They need training.

  12. Janet on May 24th, 2022 10:17 am

    @ Sabrae Hadley
    So that makes you a servants master.
    No!
    Just another condescending, little person that dont have any class or respect for anyone.
    Evidently you have a freind or family member lose a case in court. Got arrested.
    I guess you also look at military people in the same light?
    Sad little human!

  13. Carl on May 24th, 2022 10:10 am

    This was a difficult situation for all.
    No one wins in this.
    Prayers to all.

  14. William in Beulah on May 24th, 2022 9:07 am

    Chip Simmons is a standup man and the type of Sheriff that Escambia County needs. This man, like our Governor, is man of the people, for the people. We couldn’t have a better man in command of our Deputies. Thank you Sheriff Simmons and all the Deputies of Escambia County for your service to the community.

  15. Long time voter on May 24th, 2022 7:44 am

    So good to have the new Sheriff in town! It’s been a long time coming. Well done!

  16. Jcellops on May 24th, 2022 5:32 am

    Being in the medical field for many years, and based on the info reported, I have a very strong suspicion as to what occurred. I can only STRONGLY HOPE that the deputies are trained to rule out critical hypoglycemic episodes, which WILL quickly deteriorate (if not treated IMMEDIATELY). If the “erratic behavior” was actually due to a low blood sugar, it would have been crucial to immediately call EMS to rule out a low blood sugar FIRST- and, then proceed from there. I really feel sadness for this whole situation. Perhaps the department could come up with a policy similar to Narcan spray administration for suspected OD victims. Glucagon administration might save a life if EMS can’t get to them quickly- it would at least buy a little time, until EMS can get there. Food for thought- EVEN if that wasn’t a factor in this man’s tragic death.

  17. Sabrae Hadley on May 24th, 2022 12:17 am

    At the end of the day they’re public servants….that seems to be forgotten sometimes….

  18. StraightShooter on May 23rd, 2022 10:20 pm

    I don’t claim to know the events that happened, but from what I’ve seen, Chip Simmons is the best sheriff since Jim Loman. They have a very difficult job and have to make split second decisions. You don’t get a do over in their job so he tries to make sure they do the best they can at the moment. Hats off to LEO’s of Escambia County. Thank you Chip for doing ta job that someone is always not going to be happy..

  19. Susie on May 23rd, 2022 8:07 pm

    I’m very proud of Chip instilling the Code of Ethics in his deputies. So many forget those important words/actions when they complete the Academy. You can certainly tell the difference in a Law Enforcement Officer dedicated to Public Service. Thank you, Chip! God bless you all and keep you safe.

  20. Jr on May 23rd, 2022 6:15 pm

    Great job Sherriff. We have to hold those within Law Enforcement at a higher standard due to the ongoing problems in this Country. I support LEOs and I applaud them each and every day. I completely stand behind this decision of letting this deputy go. While I’m a probationary period you are looked at for skills and habits in any job. I pray this deputy can/will see the error of this and grow from it. Thank you Chip for not looking the other way and doing the right thing. You e always been a straight up person as far back as I’ve known you/coached against you. Keep up the good work and continued prayers for all of OUR LEOs.

  21. David Huie Green on May 23rd, 2022 5:39 pm

    Decent of Simmons

    David for better people





Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) NorthEscambia.com reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.