NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodLabelle


Fired Hendry deputy who was also FMPD cop faces federal excessive force charges

Body camera video shows former Deputy Tyler Williams slam a handcuffed suspect to the ground during an arrest last summer.
Posted at 4:21 PM, Apr 08, 2024

A former Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputy is facing federal charges for excessive force and falsifying official records.

At a news conference at the federal courthouse in downtown Ft Myers, officials announced the case against 29-year-old Tyler Williams, who could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

On July 4th of last year, body worn camera video shows Williams detaining a suspect in Hendry County.

The man is handcuffed and leaning against a patrol vehicle.

The video shows Williams slam the man into the ground.

“When I watched the body camera (video) I was shocked, and I was appalled."

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden

With his hands behind his back, the man was unable to brace his fall.

His chin hit the asphalt and he temporarily lost consciousness, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“When I watched the body camera (video) I was shocked, and I was appalled,” said Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden.

“As the body camera shows, former Deputy Williams stood over the man as he lie motionless and yelled at him,” said Roger Handberg, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida.

On the incident report, investigators say Williams lied when he claimed he feared the suspect may have had a weapon.

Williams served as a Fort Myers Police Officer for seven years.

He was fired in 2021 after an internal investigation claimed he violated four policies during a traffic stop that lead to the death of a toddler.

However, all criminal charges were later dismissed.

“When we swear a deputy in, he has great power. And with that comes great responsibility,” Sheriff Whidden said.

“What I saw on that body camera video violated the trust in our community.”