A Florida teacher gives his account of being hooded and subjected to the Devil’s Chair.

Reporter Transcript:

Tampa, Florida- Former teacher Paul King says he used to be one of those people who said lock ’em up throw away the key.

However King has changed his mind since being arrested on public intoxication last July. A video shows deputies pushed him against a glass wall as he was being frisked, threw him to the ground for no apparent reason, held his neck back more than 2 minutes as he was being put into a restraint chair, put a hood over his face and then appeared to try to hide the action from cameras by moving paperwork to cover his head.

King says it’s something like out of Guantanamo.

King says when he was out of camera view, two deputies took him out of the restraining chair and says they both started kneeing him up against a bench or a wall, as he was pleading please, please, please.

But it didn’t stop there. King says they made him say you’re a f***ing p***y. And he says they were hurting him so he said ” I’m a f***ing p****y and the deputies all laughed.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has ordered an inquiry into all the allegations, however a spokesman for the McCollum says it is too early to determine whether these are isolated incidents or there is a pattern of abuse occurring.

But despite the fact the attorney general and the sheriff’s office each launched separate investigations, some have said they fear this is an attempt to sweep things under the rug rather than to find the truth.

Attorney John Trevena, who represents some of the people claiming abuse, met with McCollum’s office on Thursday and says he believes there is a need for federal oversite in this. Trevena says he hopes he is wrong but he is losing confidence in the state’s ability to handle this.

And those who claim they have been abused in the jail are losing confidence in the system. King says when he was going through this he thought it was something like the Orwell novel, “1984.” King says they can do whatever they want.

And critics say right now no one is stopping them.

I saw an investigative piece on the enhanced interrogation torture chair used in Florida and across the U.S. Here’s a full length feature on the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system. The piece is a four-month investigation for Channel 4 in the UK. It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realize that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

11 thoughts on “Florida’s Torture Chair

  1. Isolated incident?Isn’t that the same jail where the guy got dumped out of the wheelchair(I might be wrong there-don’t know)?Pattern developing?I see a pattern developing.the psychological programming of Law enforcement officers is cracking in front of us.I keep seeing these videos and reading articles of horrendous blatant abuses of authority and it gets under my skin!It did look like something from guantanimo bay!Yet another shining example of
    “to protect and serve”

  2. Remember when we were good enough that we didn’t have to torture people to do our jobs, keep people safe, and run a world.

  3. The “devil’s chair”? I don’t know, would that be classified as sensationalism? It’s a safety device that someone used inappropriately. That’s like calling a car the “devil’s chariot” because someone used it to kill somone. That’s obviously not a car’s purpose, but it has been used for that. Some jail officers can use a restraint chair inappropriately, but I’ve seen a restraint chair SAVE people from injury. I’ve even seen a restraint chair save a man’s life once. He was suicidal because of the OC in his system. He was restrained in the chair until the drugs were out of his system, and he was rational again. Saying the chair is a torture device is yellow journalism plain and simple. Also, the hood is there to keep a person from spitting on people – legally know as assault with a bodily fluid. Sure, there’s hundreds of videos about cops crossing the line – what about the millions of videos of cops doing their jobs without incident. It happens everyday, but all you SEE is the jerks.

  4. What was I thinking? I should have called it the “Safety Chair” like Bush calls legislation to pollute “The Clear Skies Initiative.”

    That’s the nickname given to it by lawyers and people who have been subjected to it. Deal.

  5. Governor Charlie Crist, prospective running mate of John McCain, and his state of Florida starred in a video released by the U.K.’s showing his legacy in the prison system as one tantamount to a Gulag. The state of Florida was featured in the United Kingdom video, which shows torture of American prison inmates. It compares inhumane treatment of American prisoners to that suffered by prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.

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