Homestead Police Officer Lester Brown pushes a handcuffed man in opposition to the wall. Florida officer charged and on depart
A police officer in Homestead, Florida is prosecuted after being caught on surveillance tape pushing a handcuffed suspect into a cinder block wall. Officer Lester Brown can be seen pushing the man face first into the wall, causing a bloody facial injury, according to police.
The December 2018 incident came after Brown and other Homestead police officers received a call about a drunk man who was causing a disturbance. The suspect was taken into custody and charged with disorderly poisoning and resisting nonviolent arrest, reports CBS Miami.
At the police station, the man was taken to a booking room, where surveillance tape caught Brown pushing him against the wall and banging his head against the concrete. The man falls on his side and a stream of blood runs down his face.
Miami-Dade Prosecutor’s Office
Miami-Dade prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle accused Brown of misrepresenting what happened that night. Brown claimed he heard a commotion when officers took the suspect to the station and wrote in his police report that the suspect fell over a fight between them.
“Officer Brown’s actions were not only inappropriate, they were also crimes,” Rundle said. “It’s really heartbreaking because no matter how hard we all try to build trust in our community, between the community and the police, so that we can solve crimes, so they can get information and advice, you know, that brings us all back.”
A full investigation into the incident was ordered and Brown was released from duty without pay. He is now faced with battery crimes and official charges of misconduct and dismissal. He has been the booking officer in the department since 2007.
“The arrest of Lester Brown is very disappointing and overshadows the work of the dedicated men and women of the Homestead Police Department who serve and protect our community every day. Police officers have a legal responsibility to abide by all laws and the arrest of Lester Brown shows how seriously our police department takes this obligation, “it said in part in a statement from the Homestead Police Department.
Al Rolleead Police Chief Al Rolle spoke about the incident at a press conference with the Miami-Dade prosecutor’s office. “Homestead is a small division, a small community, but we are not going to tolerate this type of behavior from any of our cops. We never have and never will,” said Rolle.
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Brown is currently suing the city for discrimination, claiming he was passed over for promotion because he was missing two fingers.
“We will see him in court. We are very comfortable with our charges,” said Rundle.
Brown’s attorney, C. Michael Cornely, told CBS Miami that he believed the chargers were “excessive” and “vengeful” and that the case should be handled administratively.
Cornely said it was “not a good season being a cop” and he was disappointed with the prosecutor. “I think this officer believed the man was a threat to him and he had to make a split-second decision to make some space between him and the prisoner.”
The Miami Herald reports that Brown was suspended for eight months after another incident of excessive violence in 2016 when he was reportedly caught on a surveillance video of a woman being handcuffed.