While 21-year-old Deidra Reid’s criminal case awaits the state attorney’s decision to press charges, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office deputy who arrested her at The Retreat has been relieved of all law enforcement duties and placed on administrative reassignment pending a Professional Standards investigation, according to OCSO.
On July 20, officer Richard Nye, who was off duty at the time, was called in for backup by officer Brett Parnell regarding a trespassing incident at the off-campus residential complex.
Upon arriving, Nye conducted Reid’s arrest and has since faced allegations of excessive force during the incident.
The reassignment, during which Nye will continue to work for OCSO with no law enforcement authority, comes after he was allegedly caught on camera using excessive force during another arrest, said OCSO unit commander and spokesman, Capt. Angelo Nieves.
Shayan Modarres, the attorney handling that specific case, said Nye was videotaped kicking his client, Sammy Mike Jr., in the head while he was handcuffed on the floor.
Modarres added that the incident marks the third in months, including Reid’s arrest, in which Nye has had complaints of excessive force filed against him.
Following Reid’s arrest, Reid and four other individuals involved in the incident — one of whom was also arrested that day — filed excessive force complaints against Nye.
“He was not in police uniform, and when they approached me, they attacked me, pushed me up against the floor while sitting on my back and twisted my shoulder out of place while I was already in handcuffs,” Reid said in the citizen’s complaint form filed to OCSO.
Reid was put on medication and in a sling for her injuries, and said she was unable to write, drive or work following the arrest. Reid said she had to unenroll from Valencia College because of her injuries.
However, Reid’s lawyer, Natalie Jackson, said that she was told the complainants would have to provide official verbal statements in order for the investigation to move forward.
OCSO was not able to confirm or deny that this exchange occurred.
“I can’t tell you if it would impact it or not, but it’s always a benefit to an investigation,” Nieves said.
But Jackson said that with an open criminal case, no lawyer would want their client talking because his or her words could be misconstrued.
“If you have a complaint process, then you should investigate the complaint, as opposed to investigating the person who made the complaint,” she said. “I think it’s harassment to the students and Deidra because they’ve all given written statements, and that should be enough to investigate.
“In fact, the video should have been enough for the Sheriff’s Office to launch their own investigation, because they saw what happened.”
Reid’s arrest was also caught on tape by surveillance cameras at The Retreat and on a 15-second video that went viral on Instagram, which shows Nye forcing Reid to the ground with her hands behind her back while she screams for help.
Nieves said that the Reid investigation is being handled by Nye’s individual chain of command, while the Sammy Mike Jr. investigation is being conducted by Professional Standards.
According to Nye’s Professional Standards Section employee history, he has had five courtesy and respect violations, three investigative procedures — including two for improper searches — and two excessive-force violations.
The dispositions for all of these investigations have been closed.
This means the officer was not found guilty and no disciplinary action was taken.
“The office takes all of these concerns from the community very seriously,” Nieves said. “Just as we hold the community accountable to do the right thing, we hold ourselves accountable.”
The Central Florida Future reached out to Nye for a statement but he is unable to comment at this time.
Daniela Marin is the Entertainment Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @dan__marin or email her at DanielaM@CentralFloridaFuture.com.