West Palm Beach, FL – A decision made by an officer to engage in police violence in Boynton Beach ended up causing him to face criminal charges for excessive use of force.
Car chase and beating is filmed by a police helicopter
The incident began with a car chase on Interstate 95 that led officers through West Palm Beach after starting in Boynton Beach, then south again towards the Lake Worth area. Officers claim that they need to drive at between 80 and 100 miles per hour for about 12 minutes to catch the car.
When the officers finally were able to stop the suspects, they did not realize that they were being filmed. Video was captured from above by a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office helicopter that had been assisting with the chase. The officers were caught hitting and kicking a man who was in the passenger seat during the chase. Photos of the victim’s injuries showed a number of bruises and lacerations to the left side of his face and head area.
There were also issues with the documentation related to the arrest. Because the officers did not initially know that there was footage of the beating, they mentioned no use of force. Prosecutors claim that they later tried to change the paperwork to give justifications for using violence during the arrest after watching the video.
The defense for the officers referenced use of force protocols, and claimed that given the dangerous nature of the situation, they were allowed to use some level of force to make an arrest. They also claimed that the blurry helicopter footage did not accurately show what officers on the ground saw.
The main officer responsible for the beating was convicted of illegal use of a police firearm and excessive use of force.
The best evidence against a police officer
Police brutality lawyers routinely deal with situations where officers are caught on camera engaging in the illegal use of force. This is actually the best situation for a victim, because use of force protocols do not allow officers to beat a suspect who is already detained and in custody. They are only allowed to use violence or deploy their weapons to end an immediate threat.
Even if the officers are charged criminally, as in this case, it is still possible to bring a civil rights lawsuit to receive compensation.
Attorneys can assist after police violence
To get help from a firm that deals with all kinds of injury cases in the West Palm Beach area, contact Smith and Vanture. They can advise you of your rights and how your case will proceed based on Florida law.
USAttorneys.com has listings available for lawyers in every city in the United States. Many practice areas, including police brutality, are included in the directory.