Palm Beach County

Deputy Under Investigation After Video Shows Him Shoving Black Man During Arrest

The incident took place outside a Tijuana Flats restaurant in Wellington, where deputies were called to remove 19-year-old Kevin Wygant

060218 Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office car
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

A South Florida law enforcement agency has opened an investigation after an online video showed their deputy shoving a Black man against a wall and suggesting he doesn’t have freedom of speech.

NBC affiliate WPTV-TV reports the incident took place outside a Tijuana Flats restaurant in Wellington, where Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to remove 19-year-old Kevin Wygant.

In a video released by prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, Wygant is told he doesn’t have freedom of speech by PBSO deputy Charles Rhoads, who said in an arrest report he asked Wygant to leave several times before he kept coming back and was later placed into custody.

"Oh, I don't have the freedom of speech to you?" Wygant asks.

"I'll show you what [EXPLETIVE] freedom of speech is,” Rhoads is alleged to have said after shoving Wygant against a wall.

Wygant was among two people arrested for the incident and faces several charges, including trespassing after warning and disorderly intoxication.

Monday, the sheriff’s office said Rhoads was placed on administrative leave until the conclusion of an investigation.

“Sheriff (Ric) Bradshaw does not condone the behavior of our deputy and takes this matter very seriously,” the department said in a statement. “He has requested an internal affairs investigation into this incident. “

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