Two former cops who resigned from the West Palm Beach Police Department last year after a dashboard cam showed them beating a handcuffed suspect were jailed this morning on felony charges stemming from the incident.
Louis Joseph Schwartz, 30, and Kurt John Graham, 24, are facing a minimum of 11 years in prison, according to the Palm Beach Post.
On May 26, 2008, the officers responded to a CVS Pharmacy where they apprehended Pablo Gilberto Valenzuela, who was accused of robbing the pharmacy.
Both men were caught on video kicking the handcuffed Valenzuela in the face as he lay facedown in the parking lot.
A third officer, who ended up punching Valenzuela repeatedly in the face after the suspect tried to break free, was not criminally charged.
Schwartz and Graham would probably not be in jail right now had they not falsified documents to justify kicking the suspect in the face.
In reports filed after the incident, Graham and Schwartz wrote that they kicked Valenzuela in the face because the handcuffed man was trying to bite Graham’s leg. Zangara wrote that he punched Valenzuela after the man tried to spit on him.
Schwartz has been charged with two felony counts of official misconduct, one felony count of conspiracy to commit misconduct and one county misdemeanor battery. He is facing 16 years in prison.
Graham has been charged with one felony count of official misconduct, one felony count of conspiracy to commit official misconduct and a misdemeanor battery charge. He is facing 11 years in prison.
It is rather surprisng the FBI and State Attorney’s Office decided to pursue this case because falsifying police reports is not exactly a rare occurrence.
Check out the dashcam video here.