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Hillsborough deputy prevails in lawsuit claiming excessive force

TAMPA — A federal jury ruled Friday in favor of a Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy who was sued by a former inmate.

Deputy Shanna Berg was accused of using excessive force during the booking of Marcella Pourmoghani-Esfahani into the Orient Road Jail.

The former inmate said she didn't disobey verbal commands from the deputy on Nov. 11, 2006, but was grabbed by the hair and slammed to the floor.

A tape showed Berg talking to Pourmoghani-Esfahani, a 43-year-old Tampa resident. Pourmoghani-Esfahani then puts her leg up on a chair, and Berg grabs her first at the wrist and then the upper shoulder before pulling her to the floor. Pourmoghani-Esfahani appears to wrap her arms around the deputy's leg, and Berg strikes her on the back several times before other deputies offer assistance.

The suit said Berg caused her emotional distress and then maliciously prosecuted her for battery on a law enforcement officer.

The verdict was unanimous in the deputy's favor, the Sheriff's Office said.

Hillsborough deputy prevails in lawsuit claiming excessive force 05/06/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 11:42pm]
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