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Sheriff: Cop Pointing Gun at Unarmed Man's Head 'Despicable'

Former Sgt. Janak Amin has been fired, arrested; colleagues reported incident in Tampa
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2020 2:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A former 21-year veteran of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Florida is now facing charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after being accused by his colleagues of pointing a gun at the head of an unresisting Black man already in custody. The Tampa Bay Times reports the incident involving Sgt. Janak Amin took place in Tampa on Thursday, when an inmate was mistakenly taken to a mental health facility, which he simply walked out of. HCSO deputies found him hiding nearby and detained him. The unarmed man was in a "prone" position and not acting aggressively toward officers, but he wouldn't give his name, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says. That's when, per Chronister, Amin whipped out his gun, pointed it inches away from the man's head, and threatened to shoot him. The other deputies on the scene calmed Amin down and the man wasn't hurt.

Those deputies then reported what had happened. "Sgt. Amin's actions, the violation of public trust and the dishonoring of his oath to serve and protect, is despicable," Chronister said Friday, adding that threatening to shoot the man was "most egregious." Amin was fired and arrested on Friday, booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, then freed on $2,000 bail. Body cameras ordered by the sheriff's office aren't due in till August, so there was no video of the incident. Bay News 9 and WFTS report Amin was involved in the fatal shooting of an ex-firefighter in 2007, though he was cleared of wrongdoing in that case. If Amin is found guilty of the current assault charge, he could receive a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years, according to Florida's 10-20-Life law, which dictates that minimum for anyone producing a firearm while committing certain felonies. (Read more police officer stories.)

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