Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Police Brutality in Broward County

Fort Lauderdale police officer Victor Ramirez slapped Bruce Laclair, a 58 years-old homeless man.

What Ramirez said to Laclair during the incident.

"Relax," Ramirez said. "I'm telling you right now what is going to happen -- you're not supposed to go pee here."

The two men go back and forth a few times before Ramirez is seen trying to grab Laclair's arm and slapping him.

"I'm not fucking around with you," Ramirez is heard saying. "Don't fucking touch me. Don't fucking touch me."

Laclair came into the bus terminal to use the restroom. According to eyewitness Gerald Schorder, Laclair never posed a physical threat to officer Ramirez.

"The guy didn't raise his hand to the officer at all," Schorder said. "The officer just knocked him down with his hands. The guy was defenseless."

Ramirez has been relieved of duty pending an internal investigation. Laclair was arrested for trespassing and released yesterday. I highly doubt Laclair will see anymore time on the trespassing charge.

Another incident happened at the Broward courthouse. Officer Christopher Johnson was videotaped dragging Dasyl Jeanette Riosacross the floor of the courthouse.

Attorney Bill Gelin witnessed the incident and expressed outrage to WSVN-TV.

"This is really barbaric, and I'm just extremely disappointed," attorney Bill Gelin, who caught the incident on cellphone camera, told WSVN-TV. "We all work together in the court system, particularly in the criminal justice system, and this just gives everybody a black eye."

Chief Assistant Public Defender Lynn Desanti saw Johnson drag Jeanette. She wants charges pressed against Johnson.

As chief assistant public defender, Rios' case falls under Desanti's department. She said she wants more than an internal affairs investigation. "I think he should be arrested for what he did," she said. "He committed a battery on her, and the same way that people have to go through the criminal system and defend themselves, he needs to defend his actions, and I plan to go forward to the sheriff. This gentleman does not deserve to wear a badge."

The whole incident started because Jeanette didn't want to leave because she didn't get an opportunity to say goodbye to her mother. There are no reports of Jeanette posing a threat to the safety of Johnson or other officers.

Johnson has been ordered to have no contact with inmates. The incident is under investigation.

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