Two DEA agents and a local cop drinking at a South Florida sports bar initially claimed they had been attacked by a pair of cooks in March, including one cook who hit an agent over the head with a concrete block.
The local media, of course, ran with the story, informing readers that the attack was unprovoked. An inexplicable ambush.
And, of course, many readers bought it, leaving comments suggesting the heroic agents should have just shot and killed the cooks.
But several sharp-eyed readers realized something wasn’t adding up for the simple reason that the agents did not open fire on their assailants.
After all, everybody knows that cops have killed for much less.
Turns out, the DEA report was fabricated. A work of fiction. Nothing but a lie.
And we know that thanks to a surveillance video that shows the DEA agents were the ones who chased after the men in the parking lot. That video is posted below.
According to NBC Miami:
Surveillance video obtained by NBC 6 appears to show the group of off-duty agents walking out after them. And from another camera, you can see a federal agent walk up to Jenrette.
Once their chests touch, Jenrette is seen pushing the agent. Jenrette and Bradley are then seen walking across the parking lot away from the agents.
Later, from the camera at the front door, the DEA agents are seen following after them again. The altercation that took place next happened off camera.
The agent claims Bradley threw a rock at him, knocking him to the ground giving him a concussion. A worker gave a statement saying the rock was never thrown. And Jenrette claims Bradley held it up in self defense.
Jenrette’s attorney believes the video contradicts what the agents claim happened in the police report.
“The video proves that’s not the case, it appears that the DEA are the aggressors, that they’re pursuing the two guys who ended up getting charged,” said attorney Ed Hoeg.
Nevertheless, the two men are still facing charges of aggravated battery with a weapon, each facing 15 years in prison.
This would have been another open-and-shut case had it not been for the defendant’s lawyer obtaining the surveillance video from Bokamper’s Sports Bar and Grill in Fort Lauderdale.
Here is how the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported on the incident in March:
According to an arrest warrant, Drug Enforcement Administration agents Jason Gifford and Christopher Smith were eating at the restaurant with co-workers, including Sunrise Police Sgt. Jim Hughes. According to the report, the men were leaving the restaurant at 10:30 p.m. when Jenrette and Bradley, both cooks, “started a confrontation” by “inexplicably” yelling at them.
The report states the three officers wanted to leave, but the two cooks were in the same area as their cars. Smith told investigators he displayed his badge and identified the group as law enforcement officers. Hughes then showed his badge, said they were “cops and they were leaving.”
Instead, Bradley came up from Gifford’s “blind side and struck him behind the head” with the rock. As Gifford fell unconscious, Bradley allegedly said, “One down, two to go,” documents show.
Smith then told investigators he was also hit in the head with the rock by Bradley, but was able to soften the blow with his hand.
But now the truth appears to be that the cops were drunk and one of them stumbled against the bar inside the restaurant, prompting both Steven Jenrette and Gregory Bradley to laugh at them.
And laughter at a drunken cop is apparently punishable by a prison sentence.
The surveillance video shows the agents walking out after the men, including one who walks up to one of them, bumping his chest against the man. The man then pushes him off and the two cooks walk away, trying to deescalate the situation.
But the agents continued to follow them off-camera where the altercation took place.
Initially, police told the media that “an eyewitness told police the three officers tried ‘to calm the situation before it escalated.'”
But now the media is reporting that “the investigating officer wrote in the report that all of the witnesses were about 40 feet away, so they could not have seen precisely what happened.”
So it appears that the agents and the responding police officers were unable to get their stories straight from the get-go.
And it probably doesn’t matter because odds are none of them will face charges of falsifying reports.