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Sheriff Nocco Defends Deputy’s Use of Force

Sheriff Nocco Defends Deputy’s Use of Force

Tiffany Nicole Tebo
Tiffany Nicole Tebo

Wesley Chapel, Florida – Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco is speaking out about a body-cam video of an arrest one of his deputies made last week. The arrest is of a female shoplifting suspect in Wesley Chapel. The suspect, Tiffany Nicole Tebo, 29, is shown being confronted by a loss prevention officer from Beall’s department store and by a Pasco deputy on February 19th.

A Live Leak heavily edited video of the arrest was published on February 23rd and drew a lot of criticism against the deputy. The Daily Mail, a British tabloid, picked up the story and video shortly after Live Leak published the edited version.

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This was Live Leak’s edited version of the video:

The question is, does the edited video give you a true picture of exactly what occurred. According to Sheriff Nocco, it does not and the Sheriff wants you to see for yourself.

This is the unedited version of the arrest:

Sheriff Nocco issued the following statement about the video:

To the vast and overwhelming majority of the citizens who support us, thank you. We are blessed and humbled by your words of encouragement and appreciation. You are the driving force that keeps us going and we will remain vigilant.

Last weekend, a Pasco Deputy responded to a shoplifting incident in Wesley Chapel. While making contact with the suspect, our deputy attempted to take the suspect into custody by first giving verbal commands with which she did not comply. The deputy then attempted to put handcuffs on her, at which time she still resisted and a confrontation ensued which resulted in an injury to the suspect. This entire incident could have been avoided had the suspect not stolen the product or had complied with the initial commands by the deputy. This was not the first interaction with law enforcement by the suspect. She has a lengthy criminal record and knows how the arrest process works. Unfortunately, she decided to resist.

Thankfully, our agency has implemented the body worn camera and the entire video demonstrates the deputy’s professionalism. He showed concern for the suspect by rendering aid, and his ability to clearly articulate to the suspect that had she complied initially she would have probably been released with a citation. Without the body worn camera, this deputy could have faced an internal affairs investigation. Every citizen should watch the entire video before passing judgment.

Our agency has received several threats by those watching only edited portions of the video released by the media and reading sensationalized headlines. It is sad that over the past several years, the law enforcement profession has been vilified. The people who are criticizing this incident are stereotyping an entire profession and their attacks are unjust. When we are wrong, we will hold ourselves accountable.

Before people judge an officers’ actions, I would ask how they would react in a split second decision, as our profession requires. We do not work in a static environment as portrayed by many police shows on television. The reality is, we make life and death decisions in a fraction of a second. When people do not comply to lawful orders, such as in this case, we cannot just turn around and walk away. 

Some of the reasons we have implemented the body worn camera system is to be transparent and gather critical evidence for criminal cases. Despite some criticism we may receive, our satisfaction comes when we save a child from a sexual predator, a woman from an abusive spouse, and a neighborhood from criminal gangs and drug dealers. That is why we became law enforcement professionals, to protect and serve. 

Chris Nocco

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Samuel M. McCall attended Auburn University and has an MBA in Accounting. He currently lives near Tampa, Florida with his wife. They are fans of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Lightning. And, during football season you'll hear Sam yelling "War Eagle" around the house on Saturdays which sometimes startles the two Rotti's, Ruger and Lyric. Sam's favorite read, "To Kill A Mockingbird." Favorite movie, "Unforgiven." You can follow Sam on Twitter @Dixiehighways

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