Two Florida police officers are facing charges for using excessive force while a third is facing charges of allegedly tasing a fellow officer. In the taser case, a Captain asked a Sergeant if he wanted to be certified on the new taser. The Sergeant allegedly reported that he had no desire to be certified on the new taser. Then, the Captain shot the taser at the Sergeant. The taser had a training cartridge, so it didn’t inflict a shock, but it did leave two small puncture wounds and probably hurt. According to investigators, the Captain was not certified in the proper use of the taser. The Captain is facing a misdemeanor charge of simple battery.
In another incident, a police officer was called to respond to an individual doing donuts in a parking lot. Bodycam footage shows an officer kicking a suspect who was already subdued and placing his knee on the man’s neck. He faces two counts of misdemeanor battery.
In yet another incident, police were called to respond to a shirtless man who was allegedly intoxicated and screaming at an apartment building. According to an investigation, the officer was going to allow the man to leave, but as the man was leaving, he called the officer a derogatory term. The officer then took the man into custody. He was arrested when his account of the events did not match the bodycam footage. He is charged with simple battery and a felony count of official misconduct.
Analyzing defense strategies for police officers
For the taser Captain, you have a situation where a joke went overboard. The Captain will ask the government to allow the situation to be handled civilly as opposed to criminally. The Captain is only facing misdemeanor battery charges, but it could impact his position with the department. If the prosecution does pursue charges against the Captain, then he only has one defense. He could claim that the Sergeant allowed him to pull the trigger on the taser. Consent is a defense to battery.
In the second and third cases of police brutality, you see how departments are responding to the Derek Chauvin problem. They are coming down harder on officers who abuse their power to illegally abuse or subdue those under arrest. In one case, the suspect had already been subdued prior to physical confrontation, and the officer kicked the suspect before placing his knee on his neck. Since the suspect was subdued, the conduct amounts to battery. With bodycam footage, it will be difficult for the officer to explain why he continued to beat the suspect after he had been subdued.
The third case is the most puzzling. In most cases, if an officer is going to let you off the hook for acting out, and you decide to insult them, they will likely charge you with the crimes you would have been charged with had they not decided to let you go. However, if you lie on official reports, you are committing a felony. Misremembering an incident that was emotionally charged is not uncommon. However, when your misremembering mislead investigators, they will likely assume you are lying. In this case, bodycam footage apparently contradicts the officer’s statements.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you are facing serious charges, the West Palm Beach criminal defense attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. can help advocate on your behalf and negotiate a resolution that you can live with. Call today to learn more.