Deputy Terminated

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Professional Standards Bureau
- Administrative Investigation Division

Corporal Jamason Jessie
Age: 46
Date of Hire: 08/07/2000
Termination Effective: 03/07/2022

Patrick Knight (Former Employee)
Age: 51
Date of Hire: 10/10/1996

Terrell Johnson (Inmate - Victim)
DOB: 10/16/1980
Address: Transient

PINELLAS COUNTY – A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office corporal, assigned to the Department of Detention and Corrections, was terminated on March 7, 2022. His termination was a result of an incident that occurred at the Pinellas County Jail located at 14400 49th Street North on November 19, 2021.

According to the Administrative Investigation Division, on November 18, 2021, 41-year-old Terrell Johnson, was arrested by the St. Petersburg Police Department and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. During his initial medical screening Johnson become disruptive and uncooperative, so he was handcuffed and placed in a single cell to de-escalate the situation.

While in the single cell, Johnson began to kick the cell door. Sergeant Patrick Knight and Corporal Jamason Jessie were in the hallway outside of the cell while Johnson was kicking the door from inside the cell. When Sergeant Knight and Corporal Jessie entered the cell, Sergeant Knight pushed, slapped, punched and grabbed Johnson’s hair without provocation or justification.

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Sergeant Knight’s written report and verbal account of what transpired showed inconsistencies. Corporal Jessie initially made statements consistent with Sergeant Knight’s account of the incident. However, several hours later, Corporal Jessie recanted his initial statement and advised Sergeant Knight unlawfully struck Johnson. An internal affairs investigation was immediately initiated.

Knight resigned from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on November 22, 2021, after being notified of the internal investigation and on November 29, 2021, Knight was arrested and charged with one count of battery and one count of official misconduct.

After the arrest, the investigation continued by the Administrative Investigation Division regarding Corporal Jessie’s involvement in the incident. The investigation revealed Corporal Jessie witnessed the incident and failed to intervene or stop Sergeant Knight from using excessive and unlawful force against the inmate as required by law and agency policy. Corporal Jessie also deviated from protocol and left Johnson alone in the holding cell with a head injury caused by Sgt. Knight for over two minutes and he lied to his supervisors when asked if any strikes were delivered to the inmate, while fabricating a reenactment of the alleged use of force. Corporal Jessie further lied about whether he and Sergeant Knight conversed about the incident immediately after leaving the inmate’s cell and he lied about having a conversation with Knight about the incident while inside the sergeant’s office at the jail.

Corporal Jessie also lied multiple times to investigators and denied having a telephone conversation with Sergeant Knight after the incident that concerned Knight’s unlawful excessive force. 

The Administrative Review Board found Corporal Jessie to be in violation of his duties and responsibilities and was untruthful due to providing false and inconsistent statements as well as omitting information during a formal investigation.

As a result of the investigation, the Administrative Review Board determined that Corporal Jessie committed these violations and Sheriff Gualtieri terminated Jessie effective Monday, March 7, 2022.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri held a press conference on November 29, 2021 to discuss the incident which can be viewed here:

During the Administrative Review Board hearing last week, Corporal Jessie alleged for the first time that he was present when Sergeant Knight previously used excessive force against other inmates. As a result of this allegation, the PCSO Administrative Investigation Division has initiated a review of all use of force cases involving Knight for the past three years.      

The investigation continues.

Posted by Monday, March 7, 2022 6:08:00 PM Categories: General News

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