BSO deputy accused of intimidating teen in court
(WSVN) A veteran Broward Sheriff’s Deputy has been accused of intimidating a South Florida teen in court.
The job description says “to protect and serve,” but instead, the Broward County Public Defender’s Office said, one deputy’s motive was to intimidate and harass.
Deputy Samuel Wagers, a 12-year veteran with BSO is accused of intimidating a teen in court Monday, during a hearing for Leterra Moore’s younger brother Andre, who is on trial for cocaine charges. “The way he looked at me and said what he said, he put fear in my heart, scared me,” Andre said.
In court video provided to 7 News by the suspect’s mother, Wagers is seen walking by the family as he leaves the courtroom. The camera angle switched away during the alleged incident, but you can hear part of what the deputy’s says. “Face was red, raging, ‘Is that good enough questions for you, cuz?’ Like that,” Leterra Moore said, as she described what the deputy said in court.
“I was shocked, because he’s supposed to be there to protect and serve, and for him to make comments like that towards us, I mean, I was shocked,” said Moore.
The case prompted the public defender’s office to send a letter of complaint, asking BSO to take appropriate action against Wager for his behavior. Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes Jr. said, “It’s troubling, not only to members of the public, but it should be troubling to all law enforcement officers, that this one bad apple sets a tone and diminishes their credibility in the community.”
BSO said they cannot understand why the public defender’s office would release the complaint letter first to the media and not to them. “We will look into it, but there’s a process, you have to come to us first. Come to us first,” BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal said.
According to Broward County’s Public Defender Howard Finkelstein, “The sheriff seems to be more concerned with the fact that this tape was released to the media than he is about the wrongdoing of his own deputy. The reason that this office, let’s get this out to the media, is so that the public can see it, and the reason for that is we believe that the police department will investigate their own only if they believe the whole world is watching.”